City of Miami Beach Adopts its First Urban Forestry Master Plan

(Miami Beach, FL) Oct 15, 2020 -

Yesterday, the mayor and commission unanimously adopted the city’s first Urban Forestry Master Plan, which establishes best management practices to adapt the tree canopy to be resilient to urban threats such as disease, tree abuse and lack of space as well as climatic threats, including sea level rise, saltwater intrusion and rising temperatures.

“The Urban Forestry Master Plan provides a roadmap to enhance tree canopy coverage and increase species diversity,” Mayor Dan Gelber explained. “A healthy urban forest provides vital environmental, social, economic and aesthetic benefits to our community.”

As the rising groundwater table and saltwater inundation challenges the future sustainability of Miami Beach’s urban tree canopy, the master plan sets a goal to increase canopy coverage from 17% to 22% over the next 20 years.

To accomplish this goal, the plan includes a design toolkit that outlines a native and Florida Friendly planting palette, design criteria considerations for tight urban spaces and three case studies related to sea level rise adaptation. Other identified opportunities consist of addressing improper tree maintenance and removals within private property, enhancing public education on tree planting and care along with removing impervious surfaces to accommodate trees on public property.

The Urban Forestry Master Plan will also serve as a key tool for the implementation of the general obligation bond $5 million reforestation project. Over the next five years, the city is planning to plant more than 5,000 trees in Miami Beach. These efforts will ensure the continued protection and enhancement of the city’s urban forest.

Learn more about the Urban Forestry Master Plan by visiting