Thanks to the popular success of the first Microforest in our area at the Celery Fields, the Sarasota Urban Reforesters have reached an agreement with the Stoneybrook community in Sarasota to plant another one there.
As you have read in previous editions of our monthly E-Newsletter, a Microforest is a tightly-packed, condensed planting of small trees, bushes and herbaceous plants that only need maintenance for about three years and completely mature in just 10 years, compared to 50 years for a conventional forest. They are used by land and water management planners to:
1. Absorb stormwater runoff
2. Filter out excess nutrients
3. Provide habitat for birds and wildlife displaced by urbanization
4. Sequester carbon as a hedge against climate change
The project was conceived by the Sarasota Urban ReForesters (SURF) under the auspices of Charles Reith, Science Advisor, at Southface Sarasota at the Florida House. Contributing partners to this important SURF project are the Florida Veterans For Common Sense Fund, the Sarasota Bay Rotary Club, the Suncoast Science Center’s Faulhaber Fab Lab, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, the Floyd C. Johnson Foundation, the Flo Singer Johnson Foundation, START (Solutions To Avoid Red Tide) and Elizabeth Moore, President of the Tree Foundation and the premier environmental philanthropist in our area. The design and the planning for the Microforest was done over the summer by a group of twenty dedicated Fab Lab volunteers. New College professors, graduates and students will also play a significant role in the project by monitoring the carbon levels in the soil and uptake in the trees over the course of the project. This new Microforest will benefit the Stoneybrook community by helping to restore its Old Hickory wetlands area that has never completely recovered from the initial invasive species removal of some years ago. This is another outstanding example of an effective collaboration among various community groups to make a meaningful difference in our local environment.