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Message from the Sustainability Manager

Hello everyone and Happy New Year!

For me, 2023 ended on inspiring high notes. The last few months were full of opportunities to learn about and be a part of all the amazing work happening around climate and sustainability in Florida. Between presenting at the Florida Resilience Conference, attending the annual Climate Leadership Summit hosted by the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, and connecting with other county and municipal sustainability professionals at the Florida Sustainability Directors' Network annual meeting I am energized by all the amazing work being done in the State of Florida!

Like everyone else, I take the opportunity at the beginning of the year to think about the projects and goals I have for the year ahead. 2024 is shaping up to be quite exciting!

  • The City is planning to release its second sustainability action plan (SAP) by the end of 2024! (Take the survey to provide input and stay tuned for more engagement opportunities later this year!)
  • Along with the SAP the City will complete a Climate Adaptation Master Plan (CAMP) to follow up on our Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment (CCVA).
  • In addition to several Resilient Florida grant funded projects, the City also received allocations from the Federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant and federal technical assistance to work on energy efficiency in City facilities.
  • The City is continuing partnerships with Community Greening and The Institute for Regional Conservation to expand tree canopy in the community and to restore coastal ecosystems in our beachfront parks.
  • Exciting new programs are on the horizon to address energy efficiency in new and existing commercial and multifamily properties! Stay tuned for more information!

I look forward to continuing to grow the City's Sustainability programs in the upcoming year. Thank you so much for being a part of them!

Lindsey Roland Nieratka

Sustainability Manager 

Annual Meeting of the Florida Sustainability Directors Network | December 2023

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Take the Sustainability Survey

The City's Sustainability Action Plan is almost 5 years old! The City has been making excellent progress, but it is time to revisit and rewrite the plan with everything we've learned the last few years.

Help us make Boca Raton even more sustainable and resilient!

The Sustainability Survey is live from now through the end of November. Please give us 10-15 minutes of your time to help share what is important to you.

Take the Survey!

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Upcoming Events

Tree Give Away!

January 15 | 11:30am |

Mizner Park Amphitheater

Come to the City's MLK Jr. Day Celebration!

Community Greening will be there starting at 11:30 to give away 150 FREE TREES.Boca Raton households can choose two trees while supplies last.

Tree species: Gumbo Limbo, Paradise Tree, June Plum, Barbados Cherry, Starfruit.

Time and Location: 11:30 am | Mizner Park Amphitheater

Sustainable Yards Series

Would you like to make your yard a little more wildlife friendly, lower maintenance, and native but are not sure where to start?

Join the City and the University of Florida to learn how with our Sustainable Yard Series!

All events are at the Downtown Library at 6pm!

January 17  |  Native Plant Starter Guide

How and why to begin integrating native plants into your yard.

February 21  |  Gardening for Wildlife

Learn how to attract birds and butterflies to your yard.

March 27  |  Planting for Water Quality

Perfect for HOAs and waterfront homeowners. Learn how to use plants to keep your water bodies clean and clear.

April 24  |  Rain or Shine

Learn how to deal with an abundance of water in the rainy season and best irrigation practices for dry times. 

All events are FREE and open to the public. Register by 5pm the day before the event to receive a FREE NATIVE PLANT!

Register at [email protected] or 561-393-7997

Participants who attend all four events in the series will get special recognition in April!

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Holiday Tree Recycling

Turn your CLEAN "real" holiday trees to aromatic mulch for the trails at Gumbo Limbo!

More info on drop off locations and dates can be found on the City's website.

Recycle Holiday Electronics

After the holidays many of us have a house full of things we no longer need, and some of those might be electronics. Whether gadgets that no longer work, or lights that have outlived their usefulness, recycle them at SWA's Home Chemical and Recycling Centers.

Boca's nearest drop off location is at 1901 SW 4th Ave, Delray Beach, FL 33444.

Not sure how or where to dispose of something? Use the What Goes Where Tool in the Recycle Coach App and on the City's Website!

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It is Tax Season!

Are you eligible for an energy efficiency tax credit?

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) included multiple tax breaks and incentives to help spur electrification and energy efficiency.

Many of those incentives may be available to you!

Check out the Federal, State, and local incentives you can use to reduce your energy bills and make your home hurricane safe on the City's website.*

*This webpage is regularly updated, but make sure to check the links for the most up to date information. Always consult with your tax professional.

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Tree City USA - 44 Years and Growing!

For the 44th time, the City is being recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation!

The Tree City USA program of the Arbor Day Foundation recognizes Cities which (1) maintain a tree board or department, (2) have a community tree ordinance, (3), spend at least $2 per capita on urban forestry, and (4) celebrate Arbor Day.

The Growth Award recognizes those Tree Cities which demonstrate high levels of tree care and community engagement to continuously improve their tree programs.

So, how did the City of Boca Raton earn a Growth Award for 2023? Most of our points fell in the "Performing the Work" category and included the following efforts:

  1. The City's partnership with Community Greening helps to enhance tree canopy on residential properties through multiple tree give aways each year.
  2. The City's partnership with The Institute for Regional Conservation enhances the City's natural areas, specifically the beach dunes and other coastal systems in Red Reef and South Beach parks.
  3. The City's Rutherford Park & Lake Wyman Restoration Project is improving coastal habitat including adding new mangrove plantings and removing invasive exotic species.

Do you have ideas of projects or programs that could help grow our Tree City USA status? Email your thoughts to [email protected].

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Pick Up & Grow with Community Greening

Community Greening’s newest tree planting program, Pick Up & Grow, is officially accepting applications!


Community organizations can apply to receive up to 25 FREE trees, shovels, mulch, watering buckets, and planting/maintenance guides to run a tree planting event with their members on their own property!


Community organizations include nonprofits, religious institutions, schools, HOAs and more! Groups must own the property where the trees will be planted or have written permission from the property owner to plant the trees. Groups must be able to pick up the trees and tools from the Community Greening Tree Nursery (In unincorporated Boca Raton just South of Palmetto Park Rd on Boca Rio Rd).

Although not a City of Boca Raton program, Pick Up & Grow is available to City organizations! The program is a partnership with Florida Forest Service & USDA and Community Greening.

Full details and applications available here:

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What Have We Learned from Recycle Coach This Quarter?

Thanks to everyone who has downloaded the Recycle Coach app, used the What Goes Where tool and taken the quizzes. Having these quiz responses and seeing what users are searching helps the City to know where we may need to do a better job communicating.

The most searched material in the What Goes Where Tool for 2023 was. . .

Household Batteries!

Batteries are everywhere and not only do different types of batteries require different disposal but getting it wrong can lead to serious consequences (like flaming garbage trucks!)

How do you properly dispose of used batteries?

  • ONLY Single-use alkaline and zinc-carbon batteries can be placed in the trash (Such as AA, AAA, C and D batteries).

  • Rechargeable batteries and automotive batteries CAN NOT be placed in the trash. These batteries CAN be taken to a Solid Waste Authority Home Chemical and Recycling Center or to a participating retail collection site.
  • Find an HCRC location - Boca Raton's nearest drop off location is at 1901 SW 4th Ave, Delray Beach, FL 33444
  • Find a participating retailer on

Recycling right can be difficult and sometimes confusing. Take out the uncertainty by downloading the app and using the What Goes Where tool or SWA's Is It Recyclable page.

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Utility of the Future Today!

Boca Raton's Utility Services Department has earned worldwide recognition for environmentally sound wastewater treatment, specifically the Utility's Beneficial Biosolids Reuse.

Learn more about this prestigious award and the incredible sustainable work being done by Utility Services on the City's website.

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For the Love of Birds!

Join the Great Backyard Bird Count

February 16 - 19, 2024

Participation is easy! Pick a spot (such as a City park) and spend at least 15 minutes identifying the birds you see or hear! Share your observations via the Merlin Bird ID app or eBird website.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is a citizen science effort that helps scientists better understand global bird populations before one of their annual migrations.

Learn more at!

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Coastal Connection Community Hero

Robert Reeves | Climate Reality Project Volunteer

After finishing a career as an executive for 20 year at American Express and MasterCard in New York and having the opportunity to live in Canada, Australia, and Europe, retirement provided an opportunity for Boca Raton resident Robert Reeves to continue contributing time, energy, and talent to worthwhile pursuits.

As a Climate Reality Project volunteer, Mr. Reeves has made a big difference in Boca Raton and for the North Broward and Palm Beach County chapter. He helped the chapter build relationships with FAU’s student government to help the students communicate to school administration their interest in more climate action by the University. Mr. Reeves has also been instrumental in connecting the Climate Reality chapter to The Boca Raton resort hotel and the Boca Regional Hospital to share ideas and offer support to help those organizations continue to enhance their sustainable actions.

I feel it's very important to do whatever we can personally to address our climate and sustainability issues. These may include recycling, electric or hybrid vehicles, reducing single use plastics and so on. While it may cost all of us a bit more, we all have a responsibility to give our kids, grandkids and future generations a safe, healthy and livable environment to grow up in.” - Robert Reeves

To learn more about the Climate Reality Project visit and find the local chapter on Facebook @ClimateRealityBocaRaton.

Are you, or someone you know, going above and beyond for sustainability in the City of Boca Raton? Submit them for the next edition! Email us at [email protected]

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Read, Watch, and Listen with the Office of Sustainability


Soil: The Story of a Black Mother's Garden

Camille T. Dungy

Follow the multi-year journey of one woman to diversify her garden and to explore the meaning of the soil under our feet and our relationship to land.

Get it at the Boca Library!


Chasing Coral | Netflix

Due to record heat, 2023 was a hard year for corals. Although filmed several years previously, Chasing Coral teaches about what's happening to corals and why we should care.


Does What We Do Really Matter? | The Anti-Dread Climate Podcast

These short episodes are nuggets of actionable hope. Start with the question we all ask, does what we do really matter?

The Anti-Dread Climate Podcast

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Your Quarterly Call to Action:

Add a native plant to your garden.

Completely overhauling your landscaping is a daunting task but there are many benefits to increasing the proportion of your landscape that is native. Native plants are lower maintenance since they are adapted to the specific climate conditions of South Florida. Native plants provide food and habitat to native and migratory wildlife. Native plants are beautiful!

Simplify the process and start with one small section of your yard or garden to go native, and grow from there. Bonus points if the new native plant or plants is replacing resource intensive turf grass!

Join the Office of Sustainability and the University of Florida extension office on January 17th to learn how to get started planting native plants and get a free plant to get you started!

January 17  |  6pm-7:30pm, Downtown Library - Native Plant Starter Guide

How and why to begin integrating native plants into your yard.

Register at [email protected] to reserve a FREE native plant!

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[email protected]


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