Marco Island, Florida, is planning extensive green improvements, including a $50,000 development project at its ballpark, Calusa Park. The project would include extending irrigation pipes, adding fertilizer and mulch, landscaping and pathway improvements.

At the same time, Marco Island has paid $40,000 to replace, restore and maintain new landscaping at its fire station and several city-owned parking lots, and an additional $35,000 to plant and maintain trees in the community. The area has recently been troubled by pest infestations and lack of water that has taken a toll on local vegetation.

The community has also had a labor shortage and been unable to water its existing landscape. “There’s no reason for a tree to look dead,” said Linda Colombo of the Marco Island Beautification Advisory Committee. Committee members reported that the city’s watering truck has not been seen taking care of trees and medians.

The committee agreed that post planting care would result in healthier landscaping and could better fight off invading species, rather than the costly alternative of removing trees and replacing them with new ones. The committee will recommend that the Marco Island Council spend an additional $50,000 on installing auto flushers for irrigation and plant vegetation and mulch.