Gainesville.com The Gainesville Sun Gainesville, FL:
The Department of Parks, Recreation and Social Affairs will plant the 52nd and final tree for its 2010 Arbor Day observance outside the Kirby Smith Center on Thursday.
The tradition in Gainesville since 2002 has been to plant two trees for every year the city has been an official Tree City. According to a second tradition, everyone present at the planting must throw dirt on the tree – this year a 13-foot live oak -- with a golden shovel.
According to Meg Niedherhofer, this year's celebration will focus on the financial benefits of trees.
Gainesville's tree canopy, which the University of Florida's School of Forest Resources and Conservation estimates at 3 million trees, provides $75 million per year in financial benefits such as flood prevention and pollution mitigation, she said. The U.S. Forest Service estimates that each tree provides $25 in real estate and aesthetic value, which provides an additional $78 million to Gainesville.