Members of the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce have come together to maintain the crepe myrtles that help define their downtown along US 301. Both residents and commuters through this stretch enjoy these street trees blooming in the medians between Progress Boulevard/ Bloomingdale Avenue and Gibsonton Drive/ Boyette Road.
Why did they do that? The Florida Department of Transportation does not maintain landscaping beyond sod along state roadways, anything “extra” has to be maintained by the local jurisdiction or risk being removed for lack of maintenance. In this case the local jurisdiction is unincorporated Hillsborough County and its public works department has already stretched their maintenance dollars thin trying to contain potholes. To go above and beyond in the maintenance department and protect these iconic crepe myrtles, it helps to have a local group of residents or businesses sponsor a stretch of road.
The MPO’s Livable Roadways Committee was initially created by a group of citizens that understood the many benefits of street trees, this is echoed by professional organizations:
“Trees can stimulate economic development, attracting new business and tourism. Commercial retail areas are more attractive to shoppers, apartments rent more quickly, tenants stay longer, and space in a wooded setting is more valuable to sell or rent.” The Arbor Day Foundation
“Healthy, mature trees add an average of 10 percent to a property’s value. The planting of trees means improved water quality, resulting in less runoff and erosion. This allows more recharging of the ground water supply. Wooded areas help prevent the transport of sediment and chemicals into streams.” USDA Forest Service
“In laboratory research, visual exposure to settings with trees has produced significant recovery from stress within five minutes, as indicated by changes in blood pressure and muscle tension.” Dr. Roger S. Ulrich Texas A&M University
The LRC congratulates and thanks these generous local businesses: All Family Law Group; Duffey Tree Care; Frosty’s Air Conditioning; KB Home Tampa; Serenity Meadows Memorial Park; and the Mosaic Company for stepping up to make their community more valuable and beautiful!