Several cities have begun to express great interest in becoming more sustainable. One such city is your own Altamonte Springs. Many of you know have heard the phrase, “sustainability” but do not quite understand what it entails. It is taking into account the economic, social and environmental consequences when making a decision. Often companies prioritize business growth at the expense of social and environmental considerations, and that is not ideal. Similarly, focusing solely on social justice and environmental opportunities that are not economically feasible is also not sustainable. Inherently, the notion of sustainability means that not only are you looking to optimize your current situation, but also provided similar opportunities for future generations. As you may have noticed, sustainability is a broad topic that is interconnected with virtually all aspects of daily life. Some find this to be exciting since there are always new layers and wrinkles to the situation, while others immediately get overwhelmed. Altamonte Springs did a great job of working towards being sustainable and tackling it in bite-sized pieces. Currently one of the main focal points that they are working to address is promoting more tree growth throughout the city.
Part of the reason why Altamonte Springs decided to promote trees was due to the vast amount of benefits that trees can provide. Trees help regulate the local climate through their carbon sequestration and shade. Project Evergreen reports that a “ One tree can remove 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually, equaling 11,000 miles of car emissions.” On the flipside, having green spaces and tree scattered throughout highly populated and traveled is vital for city planning. Have you ever walked into the heat of a city and wondered why it feels so much hotter that the outskirts? You are not alone in this way. What you are feeling is the heat island effect. All of the concrete and construction of large urban areas retain the heat making it feel warmer than it is. One way that city planners learned to mitigate this problem is through implementing more trees and green space throughout cities. Another benefit that trees provide is that they are natural buffers, and help minimize the impact of surface runoff, flooding and soil erosion. In addition to the positive environmental effects listed above, trees are also both aesthetically pleasing and help increase home values. No matter how you slice it, whether you are seeking an environmental or economic impact, the addition of trees does nothing but help you.
Image courtesy of https://www.altamonte.org/521/Tree-Giveaway-FAST-Program
Every year Altamonte Springs hosts an Arbor Day celebration. This year it will take place on April 26th from 8 am to 2 pm at Eastmonte & Merrill Parks. The event will be both culturally enriching and hands on. One cool feature that Arbor Day provides residents with is a tree value calculator. Just type in some data about your trees, type, sizes, etc. and it will show you their expected value. Don’t miss your chance to get some new trees! If you are not able to make it to this year’s Arbor Day celebration, no worries because there will be another one next year. If you are looking to become more invested in this tree movement in Altamonte Springs, feel free to join the cities Future Altamonte Springs Tree Program (FAST). The primary objective of FAST is to continue to beautify the downtown through installing purposely placed trees. Help continue this green movement and do your part to help ensure that Altamonte Springs remains as beautiful and sustainable as ever!