Replenish the canopy

Get a jump start on Arbor Day: How and where to volunteer

Get a jump start on Arbor Day: How and where to volunteer

USFS Region 5
Arbor Day takes place on Jan. 21 in Houston. Photo via USFS Region 5
News_trees_Memorial Park_to be cut down
Thousands of trees in Memorial Park were lost after the drought.  Photo by Whitney Radley
USFS Region 5
News_trees_Memorial Park_to be cut down

Over the past year, Houstonians have dejectedly watched our signature trees darken and die. 

Arbor Day is just days away, and the time has come to start replenishing the canopy and contributing to that improvement in a physical — or fiscal — capacity. 

Houston Parks and Recreation Department director Joe Turner has called for the public's assistance in replanting the "more than 7,000 trees [that] have been removed from our parkland and greenspaces."

Sign up now to get your hands dirty on Saturday, between the hours of 8 a.m. and noon, in your park of choice: 

  • Hermann Park: Register online with the Hermann Park Conservancy 
  • MacGregor Park: Email Jessica with Trees for Houston
  • Mason Park or Memorial Park: Email Oneika McCarthy

Those dedicated to a long-term sponsorship can take responsibility for a park or greenspace and head up a two-year watering commitment for any new trees planted in that space; if interested, contact Oneika McCarthy.

If you prefer to contribute monetarily, the Memorial Park Conservancy has initiated a tree donation program as part of the park's massive reforestation effort. The forested municipal park spans 1,466 acres and lost thousands of trees to drought. 

Individuals can contribute just $75 for a loblolly pine, $100 for a bald cypress, $150 for a Southern magnolia, $200 for a sycamore or $250 for a post oak. Those trees will be planted in accordance with soil composition and the forest's needs, and donors can keep track of the tree's location in a web-based tree roster. See the brochure for more information. 

"We have worked with three different forestry experts over the year to develop a plan for the drought," Nancy Sullivan, executive director of the Memorial Park Conservancy, told CultureMap. Alterations have been made to that original plan, which includes tackling invasive species, looking into site preparation work and planting donated saplings.
"The Memorial Park Conservancy will also plant some trees on Arbor Day in conjunction with the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, the Houston Marathon and CenterPoint Energy," said Sullivan — a total of 40 trees in commemoration of the Chevron Houston Marathon's 40th anniversary.
How do you plan to help?