MIAMI, Fla., - Brightline, the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, high-speed rail in America, announced today a partnership with Community Greening, a Delray Beach-based urban forestry non-profit, to implement a massive planting project in Palm Beach County. Through the pilot initiative, more than 3,000 native trees and shrubs will be planted along the South Florida railway corridor with the goals of enhancing the environment, while beautifying the corridor and bolstering public safety.
Community Greening has planted more than 7,500 trees and promotes an engaged community creating sustainable greenspaces and a vibrant tree canopy to equitably strengthen our environment, economy, society, and health. This new partnership will protect and connect these urban green spaces by adding thousands of host and pollinator plants that are of vital importance to bird and butterfly populations.
"We're thrilled to partner with Brightline to increase the tree canopy and enhance green spaces to improve our quality of life,” said Community Greening Co-Founder Mark Cassini. “We applaud their commitment to enhancing our Florida communities through this investment in our environment and effort to ensure safety.”
The addition of native trees and shrubs will also provide ecosystem benefits to this corridor valued at approximately $1.8 million, including $198,000 of stormwater benefits, $690,000 of energy saved and $924,000 of air quality improvement. Combined with fencing, the native plants will cover more than 10 miles along the Brightline/Florida East Coast Railway corridor serving as a deterrent and channelization mechanism for trespassers.
“As part of our commitment to restarting Brightline service in South Florida, and beyond, we’re thrilled to join with like-minded community partners, like Community Greening, to bolster our effort to make transportation better for the environment and enhance safety in the communities through which we travel,” said Patrick Goddard, president of Brightline. “As we reopen, we want to remind our guests that Brightline is committed to building a sustainable system and laying the groundwork for high-speed passenger rail in the U.S.”
In addition, Community Greening will ensure the establishment of the trees by watering and maintaining them for 1 year. The Florida native trees and shrubs will require little long-term maintenance after this period with the exception of occasional invasive tree species removal.
Today’s announcement follows Brightline’s August 10 media update detailing the company’s reopening schedule set to start the first half of November for service between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. This update also included Brightline’s multiple service enhancements and investments, including new construction, investments in corridor infrastructure and safety, COVID protocols, community engagement, and, as the company looks to resume, the implementation of a recruitment plan that will add 200 jobs in South Florida.
Brightline is the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, high-speed rail service in America. The company currently operates between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in Florida and is scheduled to complete construction to the Orlando International Airport by the end of 2022. Brightline was recognized by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in travel, offering a guest-first experience designed to reinvent train travel and take cars off the road. Brightline plans to bring its award-winning service to additional city pairs and congested corridors across the country that are too close to fly and too long to drive, with immediate plans to connect Las Vegas to Southern California. For more information, visit our website: http://www.gobrightline.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
About Community Greening
Community Greening, an urban forestry non-profit based in Delray Beach, plants trees to improve the environment for people and nature. Community Greening has planted more than 7,500 trees with 5,000 volunteers of all ages. Programming includes tree plantings at parks and schools; urban orchards; residential; tree giveaways and a Youth Tree Team. They have been named the “Southeast Conservation Partner of Year” by the US Fish and Wildlife Service; “Tree Advocacy Group of the Year” by the Florida Urban Forestry Council; the "Non-Profit of the Year" by the Greater Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce. Community Greening is a member of the Arbor Day Foundation’s Alliance for Community Trees. To learn more visit: www.communitygreening.org