In honor of the students in Lake Nona’s four Orange County Public Schools, the community planted more than 6,000 slash pine tree seedlings – one for each student – as part of a multi-day process to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day (April 22) and National Arbor Day (April 24).

The slash pine seedlings were donated by Hathaway’s Tree Farm & Landscaping and available through the Florida Forest Service seedling program. In addition to Lake Nona, local partners including CEPRA Landscape, Down to Earth, and Landcare Group all contributed time and talents to facilitate the multi-day planting project.

Many of the newly planted trees were set along Lake Nona’s 40 miles of trails, numerous lakes, and winding waterways to further enhance the green space.

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While initially small in size (6-8” on average), the seedlings are expected to grow quickly in the summer climate and could reach heights of 18-24” by the end of the season with expectations to double in height in the next year. Lake Nona’s horticulture team implements a comprehensive maintenance program to ensure the seedlings thrive in their new home.

While ambitious in scale for one week, Lake Nona’s robust landscaping program will continue to enhance the neighborhood with regular plantings across a wide range of trees, shrubs, and even wildflowers throughout the year across the 17-square-mile community.

One of the fastest-growing and most innovative communities in America, also happens to be one of the most environmentally responsible. Lake Nona has reserved more 40 percent of the land as green space, launched an all-electric, autonomous shuttle service, piloted new energy-saving programs and smart window technology, installed electric vehicle charging stations, and encouraged green building principles for residential, office, and commercial projects.