By Andrea Hawkins
In the aftermath of recent storms that roared across the metroplex, leaving mass tree devastation in numerous Dallas parks, city officials are reaching out to area Fortune 500 companies and businesses to encourage their support of citywide reforestation initiatives.
“The weather has brutally impacted the landscape and environment of Dallas’ parks and green spaces. Many of the trees lost provided brilliant fall and spring foliage and shaded us during the hot summers. Their enduring majestic beauty has given thousands of residents and visitors a lifetime of serene enjoyment and outdoor adventures,” said Willis C. Winters, director, Dallas Park and Recreation Department.
Wind gusts of more than 70 mph destroyed more than 700 pecan, red oak, cedar elm, cottonwood and other tree species that ranged in size from six caliper inches, or trunk diameter, to more than 60 inches.
The majority of the lost trees averaged around 24 caliper inches.
Winters said the city’s replanting plan would result in more than 5,200 new trees in parks, all which will require irrigation for a period of two years in order to establish strong roots and create sustainable tree canopies.
Dallas Park and Recreation Department will launch Dallas Parks Tree Re-Leaf to encourage corporate and business employers to support funding for crucial irrigation systems needed for Dallas to renew tree canopies throughout the park system.
“We are appealing to area corporations and businesses to join with us to give new life to our parks. Our commitment to revitalize our parks with replacement trees requires equipment and resources to properly water and care for them,” said Winters.
Tree replacements and after-care maintenance is costly, explained Oscar Carmona, assistant director for park maintenance and operations. “It will cost the department more than $1.25 million for the new plantings,” Carmona said. “Our ability to replace the trees we lost is limited to our having irrigation.”
Individuals, community groups as well as corporations and businesses can sustain citywide reforestation efforts with donations to Dallas Parks Foundation (dallasparksfoundation.org) and Texas Trees Foundation (texastrees.org).
Online contributions can be made at Dallas Parks Foundation and Texas Trees Foundation.
Checks payable to Dallas Parks Foundation — Memo: Trees or Reforestation — can be mailed to Dallas Parks Foundation, 9540 Garland Road, Suite 381-117, Dallas, TX 75218.