What if 30 percent of Miami-Dade County were shaded by trees? What would that look like? Is that something we’d really want?
Yes! says County Commissioner Dennis Moss. He heads the county’s Million Trees initiative.
"The trees are there, and they basically provide shade and they cool the community," Moss said. "When you have trees in the area, children are more inclined to go out and play."
He said there's also an economic benefit: neighborhoods with more trees tend to have higher property values.
For all those reasons, Miami-Dade County has undertaken the initiative to increase its tree canopy from 20 percent to 30 percent by 2020.
At the 2017 LEAF Summit at Florida International University last week, Moss said the county's offering to match up to $200,000 from public and private partners who support tree planting. That's double the amount of funding available last year.
In the five years since the initiative began, about 220,000 trees have been planted, according to the Million Trees Miami website. Moss said a recent study suggests areas in north Miami-Dade are especially in need of more trees.