An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Sarasota County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Sarasota Urban ReForesters install microforest at the Celery Fields


In November of 2020, a coalition called Sarasota Urban ReForesters (SURF) installed a 0.3-acre “microforest” at the Celery Fields Regional Stormwater Facility.

The Coalition consisted of Florida Veterans for Common Sense Fund, Inc, the Sarasota Bay Chapter of Rotary International, Solutions to Avoid Red Tide, and the Serenoa (Sarasota-Manatee) Chapter of the Florida Native Plant society. The County's Neighborhood Environmental Stewardship Program and local Audubon Chapter were also stakeholders, as well as several generous firms and individuals that donated or helped buy the trees.

The system's full name is “high performance microforest” because it was designed and installed in a way that would be very effective at intercepting, retaining, and purifying rainwater to abate runoff and nonpoint pollution and sequestering as much carbon as possible against climate change. The native trees and understory species were planted very close to each other to encourage maximum growth rate through competition for light, and they were generously supplied with woodchip mulch to supply their rapid growth.

Photo: SURF members planting trees (courtesy Sarasota Bay Estuary Program)