‘Blair Foundation Tree Challenge’ aims to replace trees in Naples lost to Hurricane Irma

Author: City of Naples
1st Street Avenue North, Naples. Credit: naplesgov.com

The Blair Foundation was created in memory of long-time Naples residents and philanthropists, John and Dorothy Blair. The Blair family and the Blair Foundation have provided meaningful gifts to communities and organizations that serve to enhance the quality of life for residents of Southwest Florida.

Concerned with the amount of damage Hurricane Irma inflicted upon the City’s stately trees, the Blair Foundation trustees donated $500,000 to help reforest the City and have their gift serve as a catalyst for additional donations dedicated to planting trees in the City.

The Blair Foundation’s donation is provided in the form of a challenge or matching grant and can only be realized if other community members and organizations donate funds to plant trees in the City of Naples too!

Naples needs trees and you can help by donating the cost of a tree or multiple trees to the City of Naples, your tax-deductible gift will leverage a dollar-for-dollar match from the Blair Foundation Tree Challenge. Your gift will be used to plant trees within public spaces along your neighborhood street, along main roadways or in City parks. City staff will work with residents to plant the right tree in the right place.

Help Reforest Naples by Donating to the Tree Challenge!
The Blair Foundation has generously granted the City three years to raise $500,000 that will be used to match their gift of $500,000. That means, $1,000,000 of trees can be planted in Naples!

The cost per tree ranges between $800 and $5,000 depending upon the species and size of the tree. This cost includes one year of maintenance by the contractor and a one-year warranty. Contact the Naples Community Services Department for more information. Trees will be planted twice per year; winter and late spring. Planting locations and tree species must be approved by the City Arborist.

For More Information Please Contact: The Community Services Department 239-213-7120

The Need for Trees – The City of Naples has long been known as the “Green Jewel” of southwest Florida. The City has also received the “Tree City USA” designation by the National Arbor Day Foundation – for 21 years! The lush canopy trees and tropical palms that grace Naples’ streets and parks are important to residents and the quality of life in our community.

City of Naples Funding – Yes. The City of Naples provides annual funding for tree replacement. For the past two fiscal years, the Naples City Council has provided $300,000 per year for tree planting. Following Hurricane Irma, the City is focused on replanting main roadways first.

Make a Donation – You, your business, your civic organization, your HOA, or your neighborhood association, are all eligible to make tax-deductible donations to help reforest Naples.

Donations to the city will leverage a dollar-for-dollar match from the blair foundation tree challenge.

Individuals – You may donate the cost to replace the tree in front of your home or on your street. This will fund another tree in a park or in one of Naples neighborhoods!

Businesses and Civic Associations – Make a donation that leverages funds from the Blair Foundation Tree Challenge to keep Naples “Green” for generations.

HOA’s and Neighborhood Associations – The Blair Foundation Tree Challenge provides your association the opportunity to solicit member donations and double the tree planting in your neighborhood. These donations, either large or small, can be combined to have a greater impact in your Naples neighborhood.

Benefits – The benefits of planting trees in Naples are numerous. Here are a few!

Trees increase property value
Trees clean the air
Trees cool the City
Trees provide shade
Trees support nature
City staff will work with donors to identify tree planting locations that will benefit Naples. Sorry, no plaques will be installed.

On September 10, 2017, Hurricane Irma made landfall just south of the City of Naples. The storm caused considerable damage to the Naples area and 1,929 City trees were either destroyed or damaged to the extent that they were removed.

Before the storm, there were approximately 2,000 vacant tree locations in the City. This means there are now 4,000 trees that need to be replanted in Naples.

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