Monday, January 4, 2016

Tree the (rest of the) Town

Remember "Tree the Town"? You know, the program with a goal "to plant 50,000 trees in Richardson during the next 10 years on private and public property." What's up with that?

The last time I looked at the program was in 2011, when we lamented that the drought was putting Richardson's tree planting program on hold. According to the latest news I can find on the city's website, that's still where things stand today. ("Richardson's Tree the Town program was put on hold in 2011 due to extreme drought conditions experienced in and around the city. So far more than 7,500 trees have been registered through the program.")

According to The Dallas Morning News, as of November 27, 2015, "Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport had already recorded 55.23 inches of rain for 2015, shattering 1991's annual rainfall record (53.54 inches) with more than a month left in the year." Richardson recognized that the drought was broken as far back as May. The city relaxed watering restrictions beginning May 1, 2015. Isn't it time for Richardson's "Tree the Town" program to resume? It looks like we have about 42,500 more trees to plant to achieve our goal.

Other cities haven't been standing still. New York City's MillionTreesNYC program "just succeeded in planting 1 million new trees in the city this decade. The final tree was planted last month, two years ahead of schedule. While cities like Los Angeles, Boston and Denver have all set the same goal, New York is the first to meet it." Richardson's much more modest goal of 50,000 new trees is achievable. We just need a champion at city hall to get it done.

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