Opinion: Commission Should Approve Budget Increase for Greenspace Management Division

Lisa Maroon

Lifelong Coral Gables resident. Graduate of the Univerity of Miami. Home owner and commercial property owner in the “City Beautiful”

As a life long resident of Coral Gables, I recognize the difference in how our tree canopy in the “City Beautiful” was cared for 40 years ago and how it is cared for today. I recognize the lack of consistent, scheduled and systematic maintenance of our tree canopy compared to then. 

It is my understanding, the lack of sufficient budget funds the City dedicates to our Greenspace Management Division is the key factor in this dilemma. The City has given that division the impossible task of keeping up with the correct care, maintenance and trimming of 40,000 trees it needs to do 1. Reduce Crown by 20%, 2. Lift and shape as needed and 3. Eliminate dead undergrowth. 

By the City allowing this division to do their job properly will not only beautify the trees but most importantly keep them trimmed, safe and storm ready. We need to get back to the diligent and efficient, common sense way the tree canopy and green space areas were kept decades ago.

It is not fair for the City on the one hand to boast about a world-class tree canopy, and on the other hand not allocate proper budget funding for their “Crown Jewel”.  Please allow the Greenspace Management Division to do its job properly. The City hired professionals and they should be allowed to do their job. In turn satisfying the residence outcries for more efficient and professional care, safety and maintenance of our trees.

It’s my understanding the City needs to pass a substantial budget increase in order for the Division to hire enough laborers needed to keep up, by increasing to 10 to 12 tree crews consisting of 5 people each to keep up and get things on track verses the 3 crews with 2 people currently.

We ask the City to please approve the Budget for the Greenspace Managment Division so that they can do their job properly and help keep the “City  Beautiful “ and your residents satisfied.


8 thoughts on “Opinion: Commission Should Approve Budget Increase for Greenspace Management Division

  1. YES. CARING FOR OUR TREE CANOPY & GREEN SPACE NEEDS TO BE A PRIORITY, NOT ONLY WITH APPROPRIATE FUNDING RESOURCES BUT ALSO AS IMPORTANT HISTORIC RESOURCES. SPANISH MOSS ADORNED HERITAGE TREES IN THE GARDEN DISTRICT & A MEMORIAL GARDEN MAY SOON BE LOST FOREVER TO MORE DEVELOPMENT. ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD CANNOT REPLICATE THEM ONCE GONE. A special place in our beautiful city is in jeopardy of being developed. One of only a few biblical gardens in the nation. I urge the city to consider asking the developer to preserve the green space as per development concession and/or negotiate the sale of this small parcel to the city as a meditation park.

    I commend Ms Bolton for her relentless and selfless advocacy on behalf of the preservation of the Garden of Our Lord. This Gables garden is worthy. It is no ordinary piece of land. Entering the walled enclave, one feels the spirit. A garden sitting on consecrated ground should not only be respected but revered.

    Founded in 1951 by parishioners as a biblical garden it is an eden in the midst of our garden city. It is fitting it should stand in perpetuity not fall to indifference or a multi-story condo.

    The understanding is that the parcel where the garden sits still remains designated as Religious/Institutional land until a zoning change is approved. Some things are worthy of a miraculous intervention.

  2. Thanks for your advocacy, Lisa! Good points.

    Obviously, the City has money for what they want. They didn’t have $5 million to purchase the La Salle building, but they have like 10 times that for these new projects that most residents don’t even want.

  3. Truth.
    The new arborist and company is nowhere near as responsive as the previous.
    He could be reached for questions and consults when he was in the City doing his job.
    It is very disappointing.
    And come deep hurricane season… the mess with the utility lines and trees is going to be a nightmare. No one responds…

  4. The Greenspace Management division is being outsourced to low bid contractors without Arborist Certification. Contractors get paid extra to replace dead plants and trees or fix sprinklers that break vs city staff use to perform everything immediately. Staff use to design, plant and maintain right of way plantings to our city standards and contextual. We need to hire quality staff, train them, and give them the budget to maintain “THE CITY BEAUTIFUL”.

  5. I agree! We don’t seem to be short of funds when peppering the City with modern art, pink walls, snd chalky sidewalk crossings ; but the canopy, the “jewel” of the City we ignore??

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