An African Proverb tells us “the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the second best time is now”. Folks who love trees planted many historic and legendary trees around St. Petersburg throughout the last century. The St. Petersburg Sustainability Council has published the Legendary Trees of St. Petersburg Calendar for 2017. This Calendar showcases the spectacular photographs and legends of the some of the most historic, beautiful, and important trees across the City of St. Petersburg. The Council put out a call for submissions of our storied trees, which came in from all parts of the city. We partnered with the Morean Arts Center’s Beth Reynolds and her Photography Club. Her students photographed most of the images used for the calendar, emphasizing the special and varied light at play in trunks and leaves.
The Legendary Trees include the Royal Palms of Sunken Gardens, the Charles Oak of Roser Park, the Twin Banyans of Straub Park, Red Mangrove Tunnel of Weedon Island, the Museum of Fine Arts Kapok or “Bombax” tree, and many others. The calendar tells the story of these amazing trees and presents them to the public in an engaging format that can be enjoyed throughout the year, reminding the citizens of St. Petersburg of the importance of trees to the well-being of our city and its neighborhoods.
Why Trees? Why Now?
The City of St. Petersburg is currently crafting its Climate Action & Resilience Plan. To grow the roots for this initiative, the St. Petersburg Sustainability Council has launched ReTree St. Pete and declared 2017 The Year of the Tree!
Communities around the country are engaged in Urban Reforestation, from the urban core, through yards, neighborhoods, parks, and streets. Trees have never been more important. Rising temperatures, rainfall changes and escalating CO2 point to urban reforestation as the low-tech way to cool our homes, reduce our energy use, and provide oxygen. Neighborhoods with a healthy canopy have higher property values, and trees reduce crime while contributing to an increased sense of well-being.
- Trees provide Foundational Awareness of our personal role in adapting and reducing our impacts to climate change; and help citizens answer the question… What can I do?
- Trees are the ultimate multi-taskers, providing adaptation (heat and energy-use reduction), mitigation (greenhouse gas and pollutant reduction) and resilience.
- City programs such as bikeshare, walking trail systems, the Healthy St. Pete project and crime reduction are enhanced by a healthy, strategically-grown tree canopy.
- Trees provide a sense of place and augment the history of our community and its neighborhoods.
St. Petersburg Sustainability Council is grateful to our generous calendar sponsors and to all who submitted suggestions of legendary trees. We thank the Morean Arts Center Photography Department and Photography Club for the wonderful photographs. Chart 411 has been a primary supporter, sponsoring calendar months, and providing our meeting space at its office on 9th Avenue North. Thanks also go out to the St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation, St. Petersburg Office of Sustainability, St. Petersburg Museum of History, Sunken Gardens, Chris Zuppa Pictures, Jim Gray Images, and Constance R. Price MLA Garden Design. Our appreciation goes to all who plant and care for trees.
Our community partners have calendars available for purchase at gift shops around town, including the Morean Arts Center, St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts, Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, Craftsman House, Sunken Gardens, Creative Clay, Cameron Hair Salon, and VIP Eye Care and Optical Boutique. Calendars will also be available on December 10th at the Saturday Morning Market, at the Ale and the Witch on December 12, and on occasional Friday evenings at the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club. Calendars are also available for online purchase through the St. Petersburg Sustainability Council Facebook page. We are proud that our calendars are printed on FSC Certified, chlorine free, 100% postconsumer recycled paper with soy-based inks by a local printer.
Please join us for our St. Petersburg Sustainability Council Holiday Party at 3 Daughters Brewing on December 14, from 6:30 to 9:30. The event is open to the public, and calendars will be available for sale.
About the SPSC
In June 2013, the City of St Petersburg acknowledged its responsibility in creating a sustainable community by city council resolution. As a result, the St. Petersburg Sustainability Council (SPSC) was created as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization through the actions of members of the community, academia, the City and local business. We seek to educate and collaborate with the community to embrace and implement the 4 tenets of sustainability – equity, economy, environment and efficiency. We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and found on Facebook.