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Beach gains ninth Tree City USA honor

April 23, 2014
By BOB PETCHER ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

With Earth Day 2014 acknowledged yesterday and National Arbor Day 2014 set for this Friday, Mother Nature is playing an important role this week.

In that light, it is relative to note that the Town of Fort Myers Beach has been recognized by The Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA community for yet another consecutive year, making it nine in a row.

Lois Poff, the Tree City USA representative for the Town, confirmed the Town honor of capturing nine straight Tree City USA honors.

Poff stated that the Town of Fort Myers Beach has been the proud recipient of the Tree City USA designation since 2005. During that time, more than 3,000 trees have been sold to Estero Island residents and to a few off-islanders.

"This Arbor Day will be celebrated with a Gumbo Limbo tree planting at Bay Oaks Recreational Campus in memory of one of the Town's former residents and business owner, Ken Lachapelle," said Poff. "Ken loved the Gumbo Limbo tree, so it was a fitting choice that his wife, Sylvia, chose it in his memory."

The Town continues its ongoing sale of trees, found in the "Shades of Fort Myers Beach" book, available at Town Hall. All the trees in the book are half price to Estero Island residents. Those living off island may also purchase the trees, but at the full price. For more information on the trees and prices, call the Town at 765-0202 (ext. 139).

The Beach achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program's four standards established by the nonprofit foundation and the National Association of State Foresters. They are 1) a tree board or department; 2) a tree care ordinance; 3) a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita; 4) an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

On April 7, Estero Island Garden Club president Bonnie McClure accepted a proclamation for Arbor Day from FMB Town Council members.

Benefits enjoyed by Tree City USA communities include cleaner air, improved storm water management, energy savings, commercial activity and increased property values.



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