In August, the City of Cocoa planted 24 Florida Native trees at Bracco Park as the final part of the Urban and Community Forestry Grant received in March of 2020. The trees will provide additional shade canopy around the park’s walking path and newly installed exercise equipment. The inventory added, which now brings the total number of trees in that park to nearly 70, included Live Oaks, Red Maples, and Bald Cypress.
The planting was the final portion of the three-year matching grant program awarded by the USDA Forest Service through the Florida Forest Service to assist local governments in enhancing their urban and community forestry programs. The first year of the program awarded up to $25,000 and allowed the City of Cocoa to develop a local tree inventory and hazardous tree inventory. The second year of the program awarded up to $15,000 and allowed the City to create an Urban Forest Master Plan and Tree Ordinance. The third and final year of the program awarded a match up to $15,000 to allow for the implementation of that master plan including the planting of the 24 trees at Bracco Pond Park.
“The City of Cocoa Public Works Department is excited to participate in this Urban and Community Forestry grant program through the Florida Forest Service. This program gives us the opportunity to learn more about the trees we currently have in the city and allows us to better plan for the future of our tree canopy in the city. Trees play an important role in our City’s resiliency and storm preparedness and participating in this program is an additional way we are becoming more storm prepared for the future,” said Interim Public Works Director Abigail Morgan.
For more information on this grant program, visit https://www.fdacs.gov/Business-Services/Grant-Opportunities/Florida-Urban-and-Community-Forestry-Grants.