Surf Microforests

Let’s Save The World Together

What is a MicroForest?

SURF’s microforests may look like small groves or thickets but they implement some late-breaking scientific innovations to grow remarkably fast and provide exceptional ecological benefits such as regional cooling, flood prevention, and carbon sequestration against climate change. The extrordinary growth rate of a high-performance microforest explains why it uses so much otherwise problematic water (flooding and coastal water pollution), why it relocates so much CO2 from the atmosphere (where it’s bad) to the soil (where it’s good), and why it creates “a hundred year forest in just ten years.” The rapid growth rate happens because of shade competion resulting from the dense placement and the exceptional vigor and survivorship attributes to our “mulch-cardboard layercake” that we place to suppress turf and create a perfect soil.

What We’ve Done So Far

Suncoast Urban ReForesters (SURF) has raised funds for, planned, and planted seven high-performance microforests in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. We have five more in progress, including two for sound abatement that serve as living walls.

Volunteer day at Heritage Harbour

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The Stoneybrook Microforest installation

Faucibus nisl tincidunt eget nullam | Volutpat est velit egestas dui | Tincidunt ornare massa eget egestas purus | Congue nisi vitae suscipit tellus mauris

Our first installation – the Celery Fields

Faucibus nisl tincidunt eget nullam | Volutpat est velit egestas dui | Tincidunt ornare massa eget egestas purus | Congue nisi vitae suscipit tellus mauris

Community Action to Reforest Our Depleted Landscapes

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How You Can Help

For SURF to fulfil its mission of planting microforests and living walls throughout the Suncoast, we need partners who will identify sites, organize volunteers, and help us usher a forest from inception to inauguration. Come join us on the joyful journey of creating a forest for the future.

Nominate a site

If you know an area of turf the size of a baseball diamond or as big as a whole baseball field that doesn't need to be turf, tell us about it. We will forever end the need to mow, water, and fertilize, instead converting that ecological desert into a rich multi-strata forest that is great for humans and wildlife alike

Help with site preparation and planting

Our most dedicated volunteers come out early in the development of a microforest for a job that is necessary, if less immediately rewarding, than actually installing the plants. Here we have college students, master gardeners, and residents of Heritage Harbour working hard on mulching day -- laying cardboard and raking woodchips to create a "simulated forest floor," under which fungi will grow and soil will develop

Raise Awareness

We have recently been planting microforests in long narrow rectangles to become living walls that provide all the usual ecological benefits but also block sound and improve views

Find or Volunteer Land

Suncoasters sometimes get discouraged that all the fast-paced development is displacing wildlife, deterioriating coast water quality and increaing flood risk. Well, it is! But microforest can offset those damages with high-powered habitats for wildlife, stormwater retention, and climate adaptation. Whether it leads to a new microforest or not, we love to meet with people and groups to tell them about our program. Please reach out to info@suncoastforesters.org to request a call, zoom, meeting, or tour.

Obtain Long-term Commitment

The best way to support fundraising is to fully develop a project opportunity - an area of turf ready to be planted with trees instead - by ensuring that the owner understands the benefits of a microforest and agrees that the trees. once planted, will never be cut down.

SURF is part of the Science and Environment Council, which sets forth many of the reion’s environmental amenities, happenings, and best practices in its Green Living Toolkit. Please visit https://greenlivingtoolkit.org/ to learn more https://greenlivingtoolkit.org/

Volunteer day at Heritage Harbour

Faucibus nisl tincidunt eget nullam | Volutpat est velit egestas dui | Tincidunt ornare massa eget egestas purus | Congue nisi vitae suscipit tellus mauris

The Stoneybrook Microforest installation

Faucibus nisl tincidunt eget nullam | Volutpat est velit egestas dui | Tincidunt ornare massa eget egestas purus | Congue nisi vitae suscipit tellus mauris

Our first installation – the Celery Fields

Faucibus nisl tincidunt eget nullam | Volutpat est velit egestas dui | Tincidunt ornare massa eget egestas purus | Congue nisi vitae suscipit tellus mauris

Community Action to Reforest Our Depleted Landscapes

Faucibus nisl tincidunt eget nullam | Volutpat est velit egestas dui | Tincidunt ornare massa eget egestas purus | Congue nisi vitae suscipit tellus mauris

Learn the science

The full name for a microforest is high-performance microforest. This reflects that microforests provide such enormous ecological and social benefits such as intercepting stormwater that would otherwise cause flooding or pollution of coastal waters; cooling against urban heat island, accommodating wildlife, and sequestering carbon against climate change. Microforests are the ultimate tools for enhancing urban resilience. The reason microforests provide such prodigious benefits is because they grow so fast. The scientist Akira Miyawaki learned that by planting trees, shrubs, and ground species close to each other, you foster competition that promotes rapid plant growth so that individuals don’t get shaded or crowded out.

Miyawaki enthusiasts assert that high-performance microforests grow into a hundred year forest in just ten years!

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