From the Orange County Public Information Office
Join Orange County’s Environmental Protection Division to learn the results of a study that provides recommendations on how trees can be better integrated into the County’s stormwater management programs to help reduce flooding, improve water quality in surface waters like lakes and rivers, and provide other environmental benefits. A community meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 22nd from 5:30 – 7 p.m. at the Orange County Environmental Protection Division office, which is located at 3165 McCrory Place, Suite 200, in Orlando. Light refreshments will be served. Interested attendees should pre-register for the free event at www.ocfl_urbantrees.eventbrite.com
The consultant for the study, Green Infrastructure Center (GIC), will present maps that detail the current tree canopy coverage in unincorporated areas of Orange County. Based on the data collected, GIC has suggestions for increasing the county’s tree canopy and improving the protection of existing trees.
“Orange County’s goal is to protect and preserve the environment for current and future generations. Trees provide a wide range of environmental, economic, and aesthetic benefits,” said Orange County Environmental Protection Division Manager David D. Jones. “This study has allowed us to better understand the County’s existing tree resources and to think about how we might better plan to protect and enhance tree canopy as a way to manage stormwater more effectively. Increasing our urban tree canopy will provide long-lasting benefits to our community, not just for stormwater management, but also for clean air benefits, increased property values, and beautification of our community,”
Orange County was one of only three municipalities in Florida selected by the Florida Forest Service (FFS) to participate in the study sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service, which covers seven southeastern states. Funding for GIC’s technical assistance was provided through a grant provided by the FFS. Orange County matched the funding awarded by the FFS grant.
These efforts support a strategy in Orange County’s “Our Home for Life” community sustainability plan that seeks to promote urban forestry and expand tree canopy.