The Community Foundation of Collier County has granted $10,000 to Collier County Parks and Recreation for the Immokalee Sports Complex to provide 56 trees in honor of Arbor Day. This project will provide much-needed shade in the now barren area
surrounding spectator bleachers at the park.
Barry Williams, Collier County Parks & Recreation Department Director said, “We are so appreciative of the donation to the Sports Complex. Providing natural shade to our spectators will be a wonderful addition to our facility that will be long-lasting.”
The Immokalee Sports Complex is home to the Florida Youth Soccer program and Pop Warner Football which currently has about 300 participants. The Parks and Recreation Soccer league estimate they have 600-1,000 spectators each weekend. Also, local nonprofits use the fields for special events. Currently, there are seven sets of spectator bleachers without shade.
“These trees will provide a break from the Florida sun for the players and spectators alike, making the experience more enjoyable and the park available for year-round use, even in the sweltering summer months,” said Eileen Connolly-Keesler, Community Foundation President & CEO. “We are thrilled that we can provide this grant on Arbor Day that will benefit our residents and our environment for years to come.”
Arbor Day is an annual observance that celebrates the role of trees in our lives and promotes tree planting and care. Arbor Day was first observed in 1872, in Nebraska City, Nebraska, a once treeless plain. It is traditionally celebrated on the last Friday in April, but many states observe Arbor Day on different dates depending on best tree-planting times in their area.
This grant is provided through the Community Foundation’s Changing Needs Fund, established in 1985 as a visionary way to address emerging gaps or issues. The Fund makes grants that impact our community today and tomorrow, whether it’s for a hurricane or red tide relief, or whatever the future may bring. Donations to this fund allow the Foundation to continue to be proactive and forward thinking in how to best serve Collier County.