The Gilmore family of Wimauma, Bryan, Aimee and Anabelle, getting getting ready for the upcoming Let’s Plant Some Trees project.

Florida’s largest single-day tree planting event will occur on Saturday, June 12 at the Lower Green Swamp Nature Preserve in Plant City. A total of 20,000 longleaf pine seedlings will be planted on 80 acres. The Let’s Plant Some Trees project ties into the Hillsborough Soil and Water Conservation District’s Hillsborough 100 Conservation Challenge.

Those interested in volunteering must preregister by Friday, June 4, as spots will be limited to the first 200 preregistrants. COVID-19 protocols will also be implemented, such as social distancing and the requirement of masks.

Volunteers will receive a free commemorative T-shirt while supplies last and refreshments. Starting at 8:30 a.m. volunteers can sign in. Two shifts will also be available, with one beginning at 9 a.m. and the other at 12 Noon.

Closed-toed shoes, hats, long pants and shirts are recommended. To add, volunteers are also encouraged to bring garden gloves, insect spray, lip balm and sunscreen. Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult and sign a release.

Betty Jo Tompkins, executive director at the Hillsborough Soil and Water Conservation District, shared when this tree planting project began.

“Since the inception of the Hillsborough 100 Conservation Challenge in 2017, planting trees of all sizes would be an element incorporated into it,” Tompkins said.

This project’s purpose would be to bring more public awareness to the need to reforest areas. Secondly, it gives the public the opportunity to plant trees, which in a few years will create a renewed forest. Tompkins mentioned that the goal of it is to influence the future generations and young people. The Hillsborough Soil and Water Conservation District also wants to remind people that conservation is everybody’s business.

“Overall, we believe that those who participate in the Let’s Plant Some Trees project will enjoy nature and have a real sense of satisfaction that they have helped the planet,” Tompkins said. “Each planting is positive for the environment,” she added.

For more information, visit, call 752-1474, ext. 3. Contact Tompkins at 477-8332 or email

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Tatiana Ortiz is a freelance writer with the Osprey Observer Newspaper. She began as an intern here in 2010 and has been writing since. Tatiana graduated from the University of South Florida in 2015. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. In her free time, Tatiana enjoys photography, biking and being with her family.