The Sarasota Tree Advisory Council wants to plant seeds of urgency in residents about the county’s tree policies, but nurturing excitement in the community about the topic is hard bark to pierce.
Most of the attendees at STAC’s Tree Convocation Thursday Nov. 8 were “the usual suspects,” according to Sarasota County staff. But, during the two-hour brainstorming session, they pitched ideas for mobile applications that ping phones when they are near interesting native species, bounties for non-native seedlings and podcasts to grow more tree-minded residents.
Attendees told STAC board members and county staff stationed at easels their ideas, which were recorded, and will be sent out with an email survey to prioritize tree priorities.
The more serious concerns the public had were about the lack of data on protected canopy roads, which would help county staff determine if they were growing or shrinking in number, and funding the county-earmarked $27,000, of $896 million, in the 2013 fiscal year budget for the tree canopy program and $218,000 for sustainability.