At The Optimist Daily, as you’ve probably guessed, we love solutions for urban green spaces. We’ve written quite a bit about these, with their ability to offset carbon emissions, help grow food, and help animals and humans cohabitate. We can’t get enough of it! Another aspect of urban green spaces we sometimes neglect is the positive effect it has on the conviviality of the community.
This organization in Panama City, Florida shows how a community can help themselves, each other, and the planet all at the same time.
A tree city
Since Hurricane Michael hit the coastal city in 2018 and destroyed 80 percent of the city’s trees, Panama City has not been idle. The community united and endeavored to return Panama City’s canopy and then some.
ReTreePC is committed to reinvesting and restoring the canopy of Panama City. Many in the Florida city have banded together to fulfill their goal of planting 100,000 trees by 2025. This is a truly community-wide project, with everyone from senior citizens to elementary students pitching into re-green the town.
The Arbor Day Foundation redesignated Panama City as a Tree City, an assessment which means that their abundance of canopy cover offers cleaner air, cooler temperatures, and increased property values.
The ReTreePC initiative received a $40,000 grant from the USDA and financial assistance from the City of Panama City and the Florida Forest Service Urban and Community Forest Grant Program. With growing help, they’ve been able to put together a publicly accessible canopy registry of all the trees in the city to track their progress.
ReTreePC is an excellent example of conservation and urban climate action working to make cities more resilient, more pleasant, and stronger as a community. The people of Pacific City show us that we can all be part of the solution in adapting to the changing climate.