Trees provide numerous aesthetic and economic benefits but also incur some heavy debts. Therefore, a financial contribution is required to provide the benefit of trees to FAMU’s campus.
However, depending on the tree type, planting trees can be expensive. According to the official website for Crawford County Conservation District, a grassroots group dedicated to farm conservation, 435 trees per acre would cost $170 to plant and $150 for seedlings on average. This comes to a total of $132 per tree, not including maintenance such as herbicides.
Although planting trees can be expensive, there are many organizations that could sponsor FAMU. One such organization is the Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS), which promotes the preservation, conservation and restoration of the native plant species in Florida. The FNPS funds projects for any residence, business or school that is willing to adoptnative vegetation in all landscaped areas. Their purpose is to promote native Florida vegetation.
With this sponsorship FAMU would not only receive financial assistance from a reliable source, but also lower the cost of grounds maintenance because of the trees’ ability to adapt to their environment.
Another organization that could sponsor FAMU’s tree movement is the Florida Urban Forestry Council (FUFC). It is a statewide, non-profit organization that is part of the federal government’s Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program. FUFC makes its funds available to organizations that want to develop or enhance their urban and community forestry program. If FAMU is willing to commit to planting native trees on campus then FUFC is willing to cover planting expenses and maintenance. This includes tree ordinance, development and revision. This would create a strong bond between the school and its sponsor.
According to americanforsets.org, Global ReLeaf, the tree planting arm of American Forests, the nation’s oldest nonprofit conservation organization, will plant 4.8 million trees this year. They will accomplish this with 43 projects in 14 states and 10 countries to help restore forests important for endangered wildlife, clean water and carbon sequestration. Florida, California, and Idaho are just a few of the states affected.American Forests are looking for quality tree-planting projects to be funded by the Global ReLeaf Forests ecosystem restoration program. They are particularly interested in partnering with private and public sector organizations and agencies to plant trees and improve the environment in projects that would otherwise not be feasible.
American Forest provides small cost-share grants through its Global ReLeaf Fund program to leverage community resources for tree-planting projects in urban areas. These projects include streamside forest buffers, street trees and open space plantings. They havehelped plant more than 23 million trees in more than 500 forest ecosystem restoration projects and urban and community forest projects. Global ReLeaf projects cover 18,000 acres of land, most of which is considered difficult to plant.
Supporting projects that plant the right trees in the right places for the right reasons certainly makes a difference on the campus. Using government grants is a much easier and cheaper way to finance or invest in an environmental oasis right here on FAMU’s campus.