Forest Update with Greg Vine

August 2021
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A bit of history

Our Urban Forest is integral to the City of Venice’s urban design introduced by noted American landscape architect John Nolen in 1926. This greenbelt corridor complements Nolen’s design principles based on “nature leading the way.” The Urban Forest sretches from the Venice Train Depot to Center Road and provides a beautiful woodland trail for pedestrians parallel to the Venetian Waterway Park. All native trees and shrubs are being planted so that the forest provides habitat specifically for migratory songbirds and native wildlife.

The benefits of an Urban Forest.

Urban Forests add beauty, form, and structure to urban design, but that’s not all they do!

  • Increase Property Values

  • Decrease Energy Costs

  • Reduction in storm water runoff

  • Bioremediation

  • Decrease in Soil Erosion

  • Improvement in water quality

  • Improvement in Air Quality

  • Creation of Wildlife Habitat

  • Increase in Community Pride

  • Increase in Recreational Opportunities

  • Improvement in Health and Well-Being

  • Reduction of Noise Levels

  • Creation of Buffer Zones

Protecting the Threatened Florida Scrub Jay

The Florida Scrub Jay is found only in Florida scrub habitat, an ecosystem that exists only in central Florida and in limited areas along the Atlantic Coast. They are endemic to Florida, meaning they live nowhere else in the world. With less than 4,000 Scrub Jays in Florida, their habitats in the Urban Forest will provide a critical rest stop. The Urban Forest provides multitudes of food for Florida Scrub Jays as they are omnivorous and eat a wide variety of acorns, seeds, peanuts, insects, tree frogs, turtles, snakes, lizards, and young mice. They frequently are seen hopping on the ground or in trees and shrubs looking for insects.

VABI has a unique opportunity to install two Scrub Jay Habitats in Phase 2-Segment 2 of the Venice Urban Forest this coming year. The endangered Scrub Jay is known to have a flyway from Oscar Scherer State Park to the South. This places the Venice Urban Forest in an ideal location to provide rest and habitat to this species. Support for this effort is being actively sought.

Home to Four Beautiful Butterfly Gardens!

Butterflies are significant contributors to the health of our planet!

  • Butterflies pollinate plants, to produce new seeds, and the majority of plants need pollinators like bees and butterflies to reproduce.
  • They’re an indicator of a healthy environment, they increase biodiversity. They are an important member of the food chain, being a food sources for birds, spiders, lizards, mice and other animals. If butterfly populations diminish, the impact will be felt higher up and can affect the entire ecosystem.
  • They make us happy.  Naturalist and veteran broadcaster Sir David Attenborough says spending time in nature – even just watching butterflies in a home garden – is good for our mental health.

Venice Urban Forest now has four butterfly gardens and we ar committed to protecting them!


Trees Planted, So Far!


Amazing Volunteers

Over 1000