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Community hosts replanting event after vandals chopped down 77 trees

Mirabella Florida will host a replanting event on Wednesday, Nov. 15, to replant the 77 neighborhood trees that were cut down by vandals in May.
Mirabella Florida will host a replanting event on Wednesday, Nov. 15, to replant the 77 neighborhood trees that were cut down by vandals in May. Photo provided Mirabella Florida

A Bradenton neighborhood that was devastated after vandals cut down 77 trees in May will have them all replaced in a replanting event on Wednesday.

Mirabella Florida, a gated “active adult” community, has named Nov. 15 “Tree Planting Day - In Memory of Dick Frasier.”

At the event, trees in the neighborhood that were cut down will be replanted and each will be named after residents in the community, said Marshall Gobuty, Mirabella’s developer.

Residents say the replanting and naming helps turn the unfortunate event into something positive.

“We were all shocked to find the trees had been cut down in the community,” Gobuty said. “They were chosen specifically as opposed to fencing and unsightly barriers, a part of our eco-conscious approach to the entire community. We remain hopeful that the vandals will be found, but more importantly, that replanting the trees will return a sense of closure to our otherwise calm neighborhood.”

The community has dedicated “Tree Planting Day” to one of its first resident owners, Dick Fraser, who passed away in October.

“The entire community is very much like family and we are all devastated to hear of Dick’s passing,” Gobuty said. “We hope to honor him with this event, and celebrate his life and our opportunity to know him in the process of building Marabella.”

The vandals cut down 77 trees, totaling over $11,000 in damage to the community. The act was labeled "murder" and "urban ecocide" by Reese Halter, an eco-stress tree physiologist. Although the development has offered a $1,000 reward for the arrests of the individuals responsible, none have been made yet.

Samantha Putterman: 941-745-7027, @samputterman

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