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Curious Gulf Coast: How Can SWFL 'Tree Cities' Recover After Irma?

A woman surveys fallen trees and power lines.

This week, WGCU is answering your questions about development in Southwest Florida in a multi-platform Curious Gulf Coast series. There are a lot of new development issues residents are facing after Hurricane Irma, but the most common one is figuring out what to do after all the trees have fallen.

Tree City USA is a distinction given to cities by the Arbor Day Foundation. In Southwest Florida, Bonita Springs, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Marco Island, Naples, Sarasota and Sanibel have are all Tree City USA communities.

Pete Smith of the Arbor Day Foundation joins Gulf Coast Live to talk about the organization's replanting efforts in post-Harvey Texas versus post-Irma Florida.

Charlie Thibodeau is the retail nursery coordinator for ECHO Global Farm.He also joins Gulf Coast Live to highlight tree species that may fair harsh weather better.

Plus, LCEC is talking to us about how to keep the trees we love without the risk of them falling on our power lines.

Rachel Iacovone is a reporter and associate producer of Gulf Coast Live for WGCU News. Rachel came to WGCU as an intern in 2016, during the presidential race. She went on to cover Florida Gulf Coast University students at President Donald Trump's inauguration on Capitol Hill and Southwest Floridians in attendance at the following day's Women's March on Washington.Rachel was first contacted by WGCU when she was managing editor of FGCU's student-run media group, Eagle News. She helped take Eagle News from a weekly newspaper to a daily online publication with TV and radio branches within two years, winning the 2016 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award for Best Use of Multimedia in a cross-platform series she led for National Coming Out Day. She also won the Mark of Excellence Award for Feature Writing for her five-month coverage of an FGCU student's transition from male to female.As a WGCU reporter, she produced the first radio story in WGCU's Curious Gulf Coast project, which answered the question: Does SWFL Have More Cases of Pediatric Cancer?Rachel graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.