On May 15 and 16, at community meetings held at Riverside Presbyterian Church, Riverside Avondale Preservation (RAP) introduced the “RAP ReLEAF” project. The vision of this grassroots effort is to replenish the tree canopy by planting more than 400 trees over the next year. Trees will be planted on public lands such as right-of-ways, parks, medians and river easements. Funding for the project will come from City Council and the Tree Mitigation Fund, a $21 million fund managed by the City’s Tree commission.
RAP is seeking volunteers to help identify locations for new trees, and for input from individual homeowners. The trees will be provided by the City of Jacksonville from an approved tree list, once funding is approved through the Tree Mitigation Fund.
There are two ways to participate:
- Take the Survey, if you have space and want a tree planted in the front right-of-way of your home, please fill out the tree survey here.
- Volunteer as a “Tree Captain,” walk an area of the neighborhood – a block or several – to help identify places where trees can be replanted.
The deadline for community input is Friday, June 22, 2018.
For the volunteer Tree Captains, there is a master map at the RAP office where you can see what areas are available and needed for walking, and you can outline the area you would like to do. The office hours are Tuesday- Friday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and is located at 2623 Herschel Street. If you can’t make it to the office, please contact RAPReLEAF@gmail.com and we can assign you an area.
RAP’s Tree Committee will collect the survey input in June. With this information, the committee will help identify the scope of the project and prepare to apply for funding through the City’s Tree Mitigation Fund. The Urban Forestry Manager, Richard Leon, will be working with the committee to plan the right tree for the right location. Once the funding and project is approved through City Council, the planting will be scheduled. We are targeting this year’s tree planting season, November 2018 through March 2019.
The Tree Committee is made up of:
- Nancy Powell, RAP Board Chair & Scenic Jacksonville Advisory Member
- Rick Pariani, Landscape Architect & RAP Board Member
- Angela Schifanella, architect and RAP Board member
- Pamela Telis, Friends of Boone Park South
- Jake Ingram, landscape architect
- Richard Leon, City of Jacksonville Urban Forestry Manager