As we covered in last month’s E-Newsletter, START is a part of an exciting new partnership with the Sarasota Urban ReForesters in the installation of an environmentally sustainable Micro-Forest at the Celery Fields. Approval from the County has been secured and we are scheduled to plant the Micro-Forest just off the parking lot at the Celery Fields on Saturday, October 31st from 9:00 AM to noon.

Interested volunteers who want to help plant the Micro-Forest should contact START at colleen@start1.org . The event will employ Covid-19 protocols including required masks and social distancing. Volunteers are expected to dress appropriately for planting small plants and trees and to bring your own shovels and trowels.

You’ll remember from September’s E-Newsletter that Micro-Forests are the creation of renowned Japanese botanist, Akira Miyawaki, that feature small, dense plantings that grow 100 times faster, become 30 times denser and 100 times more biodiverse than conventional forests. The goal of this Micro-Forest is to help absorb and filter stormwater from the site and provide habitat that will support species of birds, mammals and pollinators that no longer live here because of the ongoing urban development along the Suncoast.

There are over 1,000 Micro-Forests in Japan and they are spreading all over the world especially in Europe where they are being used in Holland, Belgium and France to help control stormwater and improve water quality. This will be the first Micro-Forest in our area.

By volunteering for this project, you will be supporting the innovative work of the Sarasota Urban ReForesters, a partnership with the Florida Native Plant Society, Florida Veterans For Common Sense Foundation, the Sarasota Bay Rotary Club and START. Be sure to join us for this landmark project at the Celery Fields on Saturday, October 31st.

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