Around 30 masked Gulfport residents and officials assisted in planting a new buttonwood tree at 4526 29th Ave. S, right next to the Gulfport Marina on Friday, January 15. The ceremony commemorated Arbor Day, a national holiday celebrating the importance of trees in the environment.
“We are really limited in what we can choose for a tree, right here, as evidenced by the flood we just had,” Toffer Ross, Gulfport’s city horticulturist, said.
Tim Connor, Gulfport’s Parks and Facilities Superintendent, asked Ross to find a tree that would survive in the salty environment by the marina.
According to Ross, a buttonwood is the perfect candidate for the area; the hardy trees tolerate salt and local weather conditions well.
Children from the School Year Child Care Program of Gulfport gave readings about Arbor day, planting trees and the importance of the environment. Attendees received free sabal palm and sweet gum saplings.