SARASOTA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – “I’ve been living in California working with biochar and fuels reduction due to all the wildfires. I was down here on vacation for my birthday, he had recruited me. I missed my flight and the rest is history,” said Nick Calise, a volunteer with Suncoast Urban Reforesters, or SURF. He and his friend Zach Zildjian spent most of the week drilling holes to help build a micro forest.

“[I’ve been here] since like late September. I was supposed to leave on October 12th,” said Nick. “I just couldn’t pass it up because this is so sweet and the sticking point for me is the ability to educate the community. People are driving by and it’s inspiring.”

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It’s the latest project by Suncoast Urban Reforesters to help improve environment quality and combat climate change in Sarasota.

“We’ve been friends for a while and I’ve been working on this project for a couple months and it’s worked out very well for my friend to help out and someone that’s passionate about this type of work too,” said Zildjian who serves as the Operations Manager for SURF.

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First stop: Stoneybrook Golf and Country Club. Members of surf have been digging all week preparing for more than 1,000 trees to be delivered for planting. Zildjian says micro forests not only create a habitat for wildlife, but create a halo of temperature reduction around them.
Volunteers with SURF and other organizations will meet Saturday at the site to help plant those trees. Others are welcome to join.

“We’re looking to expand this project into as many areas as we can so anybody that would be willing to host something like this, we’d be happy to talk to you,” said Zildjian.

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To sign up for that planting day, click here.