For the 18th year, Lady Lake has been named a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation.
To receive the prestigious designation, a Tree City must have a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observation and proclamation.
According to Tree City USA, a commitment to trees helps lead to cooler temperatures, cleaner air, higher property values and healthier residents.
“We are very proud of our Tree City USA designation,” said Parks and Recreation Director Mike Burske. “We view this as a commitment to our community to continue to maintain our trees whenever possible, and work with residents to plant new trees for future generations.”
Together with community partners, Lady Lake plants trees annually at various locations during its Arbor Day celebration every April. Last year, the town planted several fruit trees with the hopes of one day growing a community orchard.
Also in 2023, the Town officially opened the new Snooky Park, a natural preserve with a 2,000-foot walking trail surrounded by a canopy of cedar, live oaks, water oaks and palm trees. It also features amenities such as picnic shelters, water fountains and restrooms. To further enhance the experience and promote interest in the trees, a recent Eagle Scout project identifies unique tree species in the park.
The Town hosts a tree raffle annually, offering winners $200 gift certificates to purchase trees at a local nursery. The Lady Lake Tree Raffle is made possible by the town’s tree bank, which is funded by developers who are required to donate if they cannot meet the town’s stringent tree code. The code requires developer to pay $100 per caliper inch for trees removed that are over 36 inches in diameter,
which adds up to a minimum of $3,600 per tree.
The Town currently has over $200,000 in its tree fund to support future tree giveaways, plantings and major beautification projects.