Community Greening’s Featured Projects
The Community Grove
TD Green Streets funded the transformation of a neglected vacant lot into a vibrant green space called the Community Grove.
CG staff conducted community outreach and learned about the historical and cultural significance of fruit trees to minority neighborhoods. As the project developed, we learned there used to be a Guava Grove called “The Ponderosa” a block south of the park.
On April 29, 2017 Community Greening hosted a tree planting party and commemorated Arbor Day like never before in Delray Beach. A diverse group of residents and TD bank employees came out to celebrate and plant 77 trees.
The Grove contains guavas, mangos, sugar apples, soursop, avocados, sapotes, and many other fruit varieties that are free for residents to pick and enjoy. Identification markers on each tree indicate the harvesting times and health benefits of each fruit (i.e. “White guava is ripe mid-season and it is rich in potassium and vitamin C”).
Additional funders include the Grass River Garden Club, the Mastroianni Family Foundation, and the Stephenson Pope Babcock Foundation.
Food Forest at Henrietta Bridge Farm
Community Greening partnered with the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability to “Rethink Paradise” in the City of West Palm Beach. Across the city, trees along streets, in parks, yards, and natural areas constitute a valuable urban and community forest. This resource is a critical element of the region’s green infrastructure, contributing to environmental quality, public health, water supply, the local economy, and aesthetics. The Food Forest at Henrietta Bridge Farm exemplifies the intent of tree canopy improvement through a community designed, collaborative project to provide free, healthy fruits to the neighborhood while establishing a warm and welcoming space for learning and social interactions.
URBAN ORCHARD AT SARA SIMS PARK
Community Greening partnered with Healthier Boynton and the City of Boynton Beach’s Go Green initiative to plant the Urban Orchard at Sara Sims Park. The 75 fruit trees located here will be providing free fresh fruit for years to come. The residents selected and approved the kinds of fruit they wanted including avocado, guava, sugar apple, June plum, Barbados cherry, jackfruit, sapodilla, and fig. The Urban Orchard was funded by a Community Revitalization grant from the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties.
Community Greening’s residential program offers shade or fruit trees to residents who live in low tree canopy neighborhoods.
The project addresses the key findings included in the recent Tree Canopy Assessment Report conducted by E-Sciences that revealed the Northwest and Southwest neighborhoods of Delray Beach lack trees: a 15% tree canopy compared 27% in the Lake Ida Neighborhood and a citywide canopy of 23%.
Community Greening conducts community outreach announcing the program; fields requests from residents; provides onsite consultation for tree selection and site selection to ensure “right tree right place”; schedules call before you dig; and delivers and plants the tree with residents.
Residents can select from Florida native trees such as gumbo limbo, live oak, paradise tree and pigeon plum and fruit trees such as mango, avocado and starfruit. Funders have included the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties, the Delray Beach Police Department and the Grass River Garden Club.
Lake Ida Retention Areas
This TD Green Streets project engaged 75 volunteers and added 100 trees to an empty 2 acre retention area in front of Spady Elementary School in Delray Beach’s NW neighborhood.
It was an ideal project to increase the tree canopy, engage school families and children, beautify a school, improve a bio-filtration basin and strengthen a pedestrian-friendly greenway.
Lake Ida Road, where the lot is located, runs east-west through Delray Beach.
The once barren water retention area is the “front yard” of a public elementary school and it was in serious need of beautification. Now there is increased shade along Lake Ida Road – a heavily-traveled road along a proposed greenway that connects Congress Avenue and the artful Pineapple Grove neighborhood.
Village Academy School
This project completely transformed a K-12 school in an LMI neighborhood with a low tree canopy in Delray Beach, Florida.
The Village Academy School has repeatedly lost trees to hurricanes and severe storms that were seldom replaced. This resulted in a barren campus where children did not experience the benefits of trees.
The Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation’s Urban Tree Initiative grant directly addressed this critical need.
On December 8, 2018 more than 80 Enterprise employees, teachers, parents and local volunteers planted 150 large trees along walkways, eating areas, ball fields and parking lots that will provide enormous benefits for years to come. Tree species include: Live oak, southern slash pine, starfruit, paradisetree, green buttonwood, and red maple.
Additional funding was provided by the Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors Foundation.
JM Family Enterprises 50th Anniversary
The Arboretum at Constitution Park is the “tree zoo” of the City of Deerfield Beach. There are nine acres of land containing over 200 exotic trees from five continents around the world.
When Hurricane Irma ripped through town in September 2017, more than 50 trees at the Arboretum and countless more throughout the city were lost to wind damage.
On April 21, 2018 JM Family Enterprises, Community Greening and the Arbor Day Foundation went above and beyond to increase the city’s tree canopy.
This project mobilized 250 JM employees to plant 500 trees in three public parks in Deerfield Beach.