Maitland City Talk

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  • | 11:40 a.m. March 23, 2011
Photo courtesy of city of Maitland - City Arborist Brian Dierks with Mayor Howard Schieferdecker.
Photo courtesy of city of Maitland - City Arborist Brian Dierks with Mayor Howard Schieferdecker.
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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As tree limbs canopy over the street, a jogger glides by. An almost iconic scene in Maitland: active people and tree canopy. For years Maitland’s trees have provided a silent backdrop for the activities of our lives. On Monday, March 14, the Arbor Day Foundation certified Maitland as a Tree City USA.

To qualify for the designation, which must be renewed annually, a community must have a department overseeing its trees, an annual budget supporting a comprehensive tree management program, a tree ordinance, and an Arbor Day observance. The city of Maitland has met all four standards.

The journey for Maitland to become a Tree City began in 2000 when the position of city arborist was created in the Public Works Department. The Arbor Division handles tree issues ranging from tree health to code enforcement to tree removal and planting. The Arbor Division even manages its own tree farm.

Arbor Day had been celebrated in Maitland for some time, but was recently revived through the volunteer efforts of Celebrate Trees in Maitland. The group formed in 2005 with the goal to replace the trees that were lost as a result of the 2004 hurricanes. They organized Arbor Day events in 2005 and 2006 and helped plant over 400 trees in Maitland. Thanks for stepping-up when all seemed lost. The city since then has organized Arbor Day events, i.e., providing trees to Maitland residents, tree scavenger hunts, tree dedications and volunteer opportunities for tree planting projects.

In 2007 the Maitland City Council approved matching funds for a Florida Division of Forestry grant. The results of this grant were a GIS inventory of Maitland street trees and a street tree management plan along with tree pruning, removals and tree plantings. The inventory not only provided the number of trees but also included data on age diversity, biodiversity, and the condition of each tree. From the data a comprehensive management plan was developed recommending tree removals, pruning prescriptions and street tree planting sites.

Maitlanders love their trees. Maitland already had tree preservation and tree planting ordinances for nonresidential districts but lacked residential tree ordinances. Thanks to the City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Council in 2009 adopted the residential Tree Protection Ordinance.

With all the standards achieved, the application to be a Tree City USA was reviewed by the county forester and our state forester who recommended the city of Maitland to the Arbor Day Foundation. The notice of certification from the ADF came in early 2011.

It truly takes a community to become a Tree City USA. There was a lot of effort, late nights and early days by all, to bring together all the necessary requirements of the standards, a forest of people. Thank yourself and your neighbors for this honor! This Arbor Day, take a moment to thank the nameless people of a past generation who planted the trees that provide the shade and benefits that we enjoy today.

As our children’s children jog down the tree-canopied streets of Maitland in the future, it will be because of the continued commitment of the city and its community of involved citizens who keep our Tree City USA status.

Show your support by attending the April 14 City Council meeting for the presentation of the Arbor Day Proclamation.

Come celebrate “Arbor Day” on Sunday, May 1, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lake Lily Park.

—Brian Dierks, city arborist


City Council meets the second and fourth Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 28, in the Council Chambers, 1776 Independence Lane. Below are items that will be addressed at that meeting. For updates, please check our website at

Special presentation:

•There will be an update on the Maitland Downtown Development Standards (Pattern Book).

Decision items:

•First Reading of an ordinance to amend the Maitland City Code to modify, streamline and clarify applicability, procedures and requirements of Chapter 7.5 Land Development Procedures, Article IV. Comprehensive Development Plan.

•Approve an Interlocal Agreement with Orange County — Commuter Rail

•Charter Review Budget

•Adopt a resolution supporting a Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Program application by AcAe Software LLC.

Discussion Item:

•Alcohol Beverage Ordinance

Horatio Ave. Traffic Study


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