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Natural Resources

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Landscape & Urban Forestry

In 2011, the City adopted a Florida-Friendly Landscape Ordinance which encourages Florida-Friendly landscape principles by using drought-tolerant plants, conservation of water, and preservation of trees. The City’s Landscape Ordinance also encourages wildlife protection and minimizes negative effects to the natural environment. You can review the City's Landscape Standards in Section 250831, under Article IX, Minimum Landscape Requirements.

The City has been a Tree City, USA partner for 33 years! Emphasizing on protecting and preserving our City’s trees, the City is close to achieving our 30% tree canopy goal. The City understands the ecosystem services provided by trees and encourages preservation, protection and mitigation of all non-invasive trees within the City. All property owners within the City’s limits are required to obtain a Tree Removal Permit for all trees removed. To ensure adequate canopy and to maintain the benefits of trees, all trees removed must be replaced with a similar tree. More information can be found on the City’s Tree Information page.

Tree Facts:

  • Well maintained trees and shrubs can increase property value by up to 14%
  • Trees placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30%
  • A mature tree removes almost 70 times more than a newly planted tree
  • A single tree produces approximately 260 pounds of oxygen per year
  • One tree can absorb as much carbon in a year as a car produces while driving 26,000 miles
  • About 1/3 of the U.S. is covered by forests
  • The average tree in an urban/city area has a life expectancy of only 8 years
  • A mature Oak tree can absorb more than 40,000 gallons of water in a year
  • Trees can lower stress, raise property value and fight crime!


Wildlife Habitat

In 2017, the City became a Certified National Wildlife Community, meaning hundreds of neighbors across our City have contributed toward replenishing resources for local wildlife and encouraged butterfly friendly plants. As development has pushed toward our Urban Development Boundary along the Florida Everglades, the increase in density, traffic, buildings and people have pushed out many of the native creatures and critters who also call this place home. Through incorporating food, water, shelter, places to raise their young and utilizing sustainable gardening practices, people have provided a place that is wildlife friendly. Let us remember that we also share this space with others. More information can be found on the National Wildlife Federation website.

In addition to becoming a Certified National Wildlife Community, the City has a unique partnership with the Sawgrass Nature Center and Wildlife Hospital located near the Sawgrass Expressway in between Sample Road and Royal Palm Boulevard. The Nature Center is a volunteer driven, non-profit organization, dedicated to assisting wild animals and educating the public about the natural environment and wildlife of South Florida. The Nature Center has various programs and activities for children to adults. Anyone can visit the Nature Center for a minimal fee where one will see some of Florida’s natural environment and unique wildlife.

Additional information can be found on the City's Backyard habitats page.