The story of Jacksonville’s treasured tree canopy has many story lines and chapters. JEA’s designation as a Tree-Line-USA® is just one of them. The Tree-Line-USA® program is one of a suite of “Tree-USA” programs promoted by the Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters. The Tree-Line-USA® designation ensures that the power of Jacksonville can be found in the canopy of trees. JEA joins nine other utilities in Florida when meeting the five core standards on a consistent basis through recent years. The five core standards include:
- Quality Tree Care
- Annual Worker Training
- Tree Planting and Public Education
- Tree-based Energy Conservation
- Participation in an Arbor Day Celebration
Tree planting and public education is probably the predominant and most essential standard of the five. This is no small challenge. JEA foresters and certified arborists knew they would need a powerful ally in the planting, protection, and promotion of trees. In order to bring the Tree-Line-USA® chapter to a happy ending, JEA formed a GreenReleaf partnership with Greenscape of Jacksonville – Jacksonville’s premier non-profit tree advocacy group. All of JEA’s tree planting activities are channeled through GreenReleaf, with nearly 500 trees planted each year.
As an added value, JEA is able to meet another core standard by joining Greenscape of Jacksonville in an Arbor Day observance. Each year Greenscape of Jacksonville musters up Jacksonville’s tree community for a day of celebration. JEA’s Community Engagement team, Vegetative Management group, and volunteer ambassadors, will answer Greenscape of Jacksonville’s call to action, to join forces with Arbor Day Foundation, municipal foresters & arborists, UF/IFAS Cooperative Extension, Florida Forest Service, Florida Urban Forestry Council, local tree-care professionals, and other tree advocates for a tree-mendous salute to trees and the tree-care industry. The Tree-Line-USA® story line is just one of many chapters in the story of Jacksonville’s treasured tree canopy – a story we can be proud of; a tree canopy we can look up to.
By Joe Anderson – JEA Forester, ISA-Arborist