A Resilient Tree Becomes Symbol for Resilient City 

 

Our marketing team was working on designing a new poster and loved the idea of using a tree and roots to show a visual of "roots of trauma" which has become an effective, common motif in the graphics depicting trauma and resilience – usually of the sturdy oak variety.

And then inspiration landed on our marketing team member, Mary Sharrow, who thought it might be cool to use one of our native trees – the Red Mangrove. The more Mary read, the more certain she became that the Red Mangrove was "our tree":

The tree is described as a "survivor" and “resilient”. https://www.nwf.org/Wildlife/W...ts/Red-Mangrove.aspx 

It rebuilds shoreline (not just stops erosion), protects sea grasses and reefs, changes salt water into fresh within its root system, and scrubs the air more effectively than terrestrial forests.

We knew this would align beautifully with Peace4Tarpon. It also dawned on us that it could be a wonderful symbol for the City of Tarpon Springs. What city wouldn't want to be identified as resilient and adaptable?  Our marketing team loved the idea. 

And let me tell you a little about our home-grown, rock-solid, ever-inspired marketing team, of which I am the proud chair. I'll give you two words: We Rock.  

Some of our neighboring towns have adopted symbols for their city. Dunedin has adopted oranges. Safety Harbor has grapefruit. These images are painted around those towns on businesses and houses. We thought the Red Mangrove would be great for us to adopt as our city symbol.  

Here's why - Tarpon Springs has the most shoreline of any city in our county, and Red Mangroves grow thick and lush. 
We are also one of the few remaining working waterfronts in Florida; the mangrove forests are nurseries for baby fish, sponge, oysters, clams, which directly contribute to the abundance of game and commercial fish close to our shore. The canopy provides nesting for our shore birds.

Judy Fallon, a graphic artist and marketing team member, re-designed the brochure we were drafting and changed the tree to a Red Mangrove. Still another of our marketing team, artist Kris Gregg, was moved to design a beautiful graphic of a Red Mangrove for us. 

As it turned out, the city did NOT have an official tree. We gathered letters in support of making the Red Mangrove Tarpon's official tree (thanks to all who wrote!). 
I presented the letters and graphic Kris created to the Board of Commissioners. They asked for more letters of support, which they received in pretty short-order, and the Red Mangrove became our city tree.

The ideas of how to use the image are still coming:  A yearly coloring contest for kids, public art, Earth Day plantings, bus wraps, city banners, and more.
If you have some ideas, let us know. 

It’s another wonderful way for us to see ourselves as a resilient community!

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