Teaching Tree Management Programs to the Miami Downtown Development Authority—Downtown Enhancement Team–a Successful Approach
Henry Mayer1* and Jennifer Rodero, University of Florida, IFAS, Miami Dade County Extension, 18710 SW 288 Street, Homestead, FL 33030 2Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA), 200 S. Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 2929, Miami, FL 33131
Additional index words. planting, pruning plants
The city of Miami has one of the highest poverty rates and one of the lowest median incomes among large U.S. cities, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey ( http://www.census.gov/acs/www/). This survey places Miami’s poverty rate at 26.9%, well above the state average of 12.6%, Miami–Dade County’s 18%, and the national average of 13.3%. During 2012, at a request from the Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA), the Commercial Urban Horticultural Agent put together 3-h training workshops to teach entry-level employees from the Downtown Enhancement Team (DET) some techniques to plant and maintain trees in downtown Miami. The Miami DDA, in partnership with Camillus House, assists formerly homeless persons to give back to the community and reenter the workforce through employment with the DET. The tree management training programs are an important resource for the DET program. According to the DET supervisors, as a consequence of the workshops the participants are more confident in performing landscape maintenance, planting trees, and planting shrubs. They also take initiative and assist/correct others who have not been trained and show them how to do the planting or pruning. The workshops have also increased the survival rate of the trees and shrubs being planted in the downtown area. Due to the success of the program, these workshops will continue in 2013.