Planting Nassau’s Future is a Keep Nassau Beautiful (KNB) program. The primary mission of the program is to beautify spaces in Nassau County. As the eastern gateway to the sunshine state, we want to preserve our beaches, green pastures, timberlands, and all the beautiful areas in-between. Weather events, age, and increasing development can impact all of these environments so we must start somewhere in order to make an impact for all of our futures.
Nassau County Residents Plant 348 Trees
The first project of Planting Nassau’s Future was the Adopt-A-Tree project, December 1 through April 30, 2020. Adopt-A-Tree was set forth with a stretch goal to enable the planting of 300 trees across all areas of Nassau County. Residents overwhelmingly responded and surpassed that goal planting 348 trees in less than 5 months. Adopt-A-Tree was planned as an actionable and positive response to the loss of tree canopy in Nassau County due to development, weather events, and age. The project was designed with an educational element to teach participants how to plant and care for trees. The location of each tree adopted has been mapped in a GIS layer for historical tracking of the success of the Adopt-A-Tree project.
How Planting Nassau’s Future Got StartedIn October 2019, Keep Nassau Beautiful (KNB) introduced an idea to create a program to beautify Nassau County by planting trees. A sold-out fundraiser, Lobster’s for Limbs, was prepared and hosted by London’s Pub in Fernandina Beach. Participants knew they were donating to a new program with an aim for planting trees, but at that time, no program name nor specific project had been identified. Naming entries were accepted – the most popular was Planting Nassau’s Future.
Adopt-A-Tree Kicked OffThe first project of Planting Nassau’s Future, Adopt-A-Tree, was planned and executed with the support of Rayonier, Amelia Tavern, and private donations. The project had a stretch goal to enable the planting of 300 trees across all areas of Nassau County. Adopt-A-Tree’s first planting officially kicked off the project on December 18, 2019, with a privately donated 100-gallon live oak tree planted in Central Park, Fernandina Beach. The tree was donated by a local couple committed to protecting habitat and contributing to the community.
Behind the ScenesKNB wanted to plan a project unlike other tree give-a-way programs by providing an educational workshop and reward participants with their choice of nursery stock trees. Additionally, participants had three easy options to get involved – volunteer in a tree planting project, hold a personal or group tree planting, or arrange for a legacy tree planting. Kelley McCarter, KNB Board Member and Officer, and Certified Forester agreed to Chair the project. Kelley connected with Ms. Rebecca Jordi, Nassau County Extension Director, to partner with KNB as the educational resource. Liberty Landscape Supply helped acquire 280 nursery stock native trees. Nantonio’s Harmony Garden’s helped support the educational workshops and school planting projects with Crepe Myrtles and Red Maples.
Educational WorkshopsKNB provided Nassau County residents an opportunity to learn about the proper methods in tree selection, planting, care, and proper recycling or reuse of containers. Upon workshop completion participants selected one or two free trees to plant on their property. Rather than provide seedlings, everyone agreed that providing trees in 3 to 5-gallon containers would offer the best opportunity of survival. Four species were offered ensuring the right species for the planting location. In some cases, KNB was able to support some specific requests beyond the main four species offered. The Adopt-A-Tree project extended across all of Nassau County. In-person educational workshops were completed in Yulee, Callahan, and Fernandina Beach prior to March 2020. Due to social distancing measures the Hilliard workshop transitioned to an online format. Trees were then delivered and left in a safe place to avoid contact.
Many thanks to the Nassau County Extension, partners, volunteers, and Nassau County residents who participated in the workshops. Together we are Planting Nassau’s Future!
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Three Easy Options to Get Involved
Volunteer at Your Convenience
Register to participate in a tree planting project or to assist with maintenance checks and watering our Legacy Trees. A KNB representative will contact you to confirm your interests, available time, and match you with a project.
Register Your Tree Planting Project
View the Adopt-A-Tree Educational video before planting your trees. Send KNB a picture of your tree planting. We will post your picture in our Gallery and enter your name in a monthly drawing for a KNB Swag Bag!