NORTH PORT, FL – With the need to protect environmental resources rising along with the City’s growth, North Port’s Development Services Department is adding a Natural Resources Division to the City’s toolkit to preserve natural assets.
The creation of the division was approved at the June 13 City Commission regular meeting.
The number of permits requested for land clearing or tree removal is on the rise, which requires oversight by subject matter experts. As those requests increase, additional actions are needed to preserve and restore the City’s environmental resources and improve the City’s sustainability.
The Natural Resources Division will oversee preservation of critical habitats for endangered and threatened species, boost tree protection efforts, coordinate a City-wide tree planting plan, increase the City’s resiliency and sustainability initiatives and more. The City Commission approved four new positions for this division, including a Natural Resources Manager, Environmental Planner, Environmental Specialist, and Urban Forester. These four positions will join the City’s existing three Arborists to form the new division.
“North Port understands and values the importance of natural resources to the community’s quality of life,” Development Services Director Alaina Ray said. “Creating the Natural Resources Division is a testament to our commitment to and focus on our environment.”
All funding for the division will come from the City’s Tree Fund, which is made up of permit and mitigation fees paid by developers for the removal of protected trees in the City. The current Tree Fund balance is more than $3.2 million. The annual funding for this division is projected to be approximately $460,000.
By creating this division, the City is taking a critical step in implementing its strategic goal for environmental sustainability and resiliency as the City continues to grow.
For more information on the City’s tree planting efforts and how citizens can help our natural environment through Florida-Friendly Landscaping practices, visit