The City of Key West, Florida

The Southernmost City in th Continental United States

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Earth Day -- Arbor Day

Key West Mayor Teri Johnston, during the recent city commission meeting, proclaimed April 20th as Earth Day – Arbor Day.

Arbor Day is observed nationally to celebrate the role of trees in our lives and promote tree planting and care. The City of Key West has long recognized the importance of its trees and its environment and has been a member of Tree City USA for seven years. Earth Day is a day set aside to honor the environment and the concept of peace and is celebrated worldwide to promote environmental protection.

Key West Urban Forester Karen DeMaria accepted the proclamation.

“On Saturday, April 20th, the City of Key West Urban Forestry, Solid Waste, and Sustainability departments,” she said, “along with our partners, the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority, Keep America and Key West Beautiful-the Great America Clean Up, Reef Relief, the Surf Rider Foundation, the Key West Turtle Club, the Monroe County Extension Service, the Southernmost Brew Club, and the Key West Botanical Garden invite the public to celebrate Earth Day -- Arbor Day and the Preserve Key West Island Life campaign with a morning of community service and an afternoon of fun and education.”

On that day, the community is invited to attend one or more of several earth-oriented events. There will be land, beach and shoreline cleanups from 9 a.m. until 12:30. Cleanups will be organized at Higgs Beach, Nature Beach on Atlantic Blvd, and on Boca Chica Road. There will be a mangrove kayak cleanup as well as an invasive plant removal effort at the roller rink.

The Key West Botanical Garden will be holding a native and endangered species plant sale from 9 a.m. until noon at the garden nursery on College Road.

Also at the Key West Botanical Garden, residents and visitors can enjoy the Earth Day -- Arbor Day Eco Fair from 1 p.m. until 4:30. This is a free event full of fun activities for all, including environmental education booths, bee keeping demonstrations, honey tasting, mead tasting and brewing, sunscreen information, and a tree planting.

Conservation and sustainability workshops will also be held for a small fee. These workshops will cover vital information including worm composting and an upcycled rain barrel workshop.  The Botanical Garden will also have their regular speaker series presenter on this day discussing the new Key West Heritage Tree program. For additional information regarding the cleanups, eco fair, and workshops go to www.keywestrecycles.com on the web or to the City Facebook site. 

“I want to give a special thank you,” said DeMaria, “to the main sponsor of this event, Coke Florida, for not only providing supplies for some of the workshops, but for also providing drinks at the event.”

arbor day

In the photo: Commissioners Mary Lou Hoover and Gregory Davila, Coke Florida District Sales Manager Chris Alvarez, Key West Urban Forester Karen DeMaria, Botanical Gardens Executive Director Misha McRAE, Key West Solid Waste Coordinator Dee Dee Green, Coke Florida’s Territory General Manager Yordi Batista, Mayor Teri Johnston, Vice Mayor Sam Kaufman, Monroe County Extension Service Horticultural Agent Michelle Leonard-Mularz, and Commissioners Clayton Lopez, Billy Wardlow and Jimmy Weekley.