tree_web.jpgMIAMI GARDENS — The Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resources Management (DERM) and the city of Miami Gardens have teamed up to host the first Adopt-a-Tree giveaway of the year.

Miami-Dade County residents will have the opportunity to green their backyards by getting two free trees from the county’s Adopt-a-Tree program.

A county statement said shade trees can cut the air-conditioning cost of a property by 30 percent and thus trees can help to “summer-proof” a home when it comes to its cooling cost.

Additionally, a well-landscaped property with plenty of trees can have a higher real estate value than that of a similar property with poor landscaping. 

The tree giveaway will take place from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, July 16,  at the Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex, 3000 NW 199th St. The varieties will include red mulberry, Indian tamarind and avocado.  About 2,000 trees will be available for distribution and experts will be on hand to demonstrate how to plant and care for them. 

Residents who pre-register will be eligible to receive a free energy savings  kit valued at more than $100 as part of their participation in a Home Energy Savings Workshop hosted by the county.

The workshop is being held in partnership with the non-profit organization Dream in Green to educate residents on energy efficiency and provide homeowners with the resources and incentives to reduce their utility costs.

To register for any of the workshops scheduled for this year, call 3-1-1 or visit Space is limited to 50 participants per workshop.

Also at the tree giveaway, residents can get up to two high-efficiency shower heads and up to three energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs free.  There is no need to pre-register to receive them; all you have to do is take along your current shower head and three of your most heavily used regular light bulbs and trade them for more efficient ones.

For residents who are not able to make it to the Miami Gardens Adopt-a-Tree event, two others are scheduled for this year.

One will take place from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Aug. 13, at the  Harris Field Sports Complex, 1034 NE Eighth St., Homestead.

The other will be from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 24, at J.C. Bermudez Park, 3100 NW 87th Ave., Doral.