StreetScape

The Problem

I first found out about streetscape about a year or so ago. My family has always been eco-friendly, so it was no surprise that my father was looking to add some trees to the neighborhood. He found that an organization called Streetscape, which partnered Orange County and the University of Florida, planted trees for free. Our neighborhood, after an uphill battle, was able to finally plant trees. During the past year, as a senior in high school, I began to really take a look around my school. There were no trees and the ones that existed were dead or had gum and litter all over them. This same year, I became the founding vice-president of my school's Environmental Club. My friend Viviana, the president and I began the quest to get approval to plant some much-needed trees in the school. Our battle was much more difficult compared to my father's. Dealing with so many regulations and departments (we even had to consult the fire department, so our trees wouldn’t be in the way in case of an emergency), became a 6 month ordeal. There were at least two meetings a week with the school and Orange County School System. The StreetScape people were wondering if this was even going to happen. But, finally, on February 22, 2007, the trees were finally planted and the school in my opinion never looked more amazing. It was breath-taking that between the concrete walls that enclosed this patch of green, trees would prosper. The students became used to the trees quicker than I thought. Since the once empty, depressing lot was a pathway across the school, students were now able to mobilize between the trees. The trees, I hope will be the lasting memory that the class of 2007 leaves on the school and years from now, when the trees grow and provide shade for the students to sit around, they realize the importance of the environment. My wish and hope is to continue this in college. I hope to bring more awareness to people.

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