branching out

Trees for Houston branches out to Garden Oaks thanks to $3 million Kinder grant

Trees for Houston branches out to Garden Oaks thanks to $3M grant

Memorial Park 101: Tree Talk
Trees for Houston has planted across the city, including Memorial Park. Photo courtesy of Memorial Park Conservancy

Houston’s unofficial benefactors have planted quite a seed for a local nonprofit. Nancy and Richard Kinder, through their Kinder Foundation, have gifted Trees for Houston $3 million for a new campus, onsite nursery, education center, and more, the organization announced.

That means, in part, a lush new 1.5-acre facility in Garden Oaks — appropriately named The Kinder Campus — located at located at 2001 W. 34th St. — that will break ground this winter.

Designed by Kirksey Architecture and Lauren Griffith Associates, the campus will boast several notable, green features, including a cistern to catch rainwater for irrigation and permeable surface area replacing concrete, per a press release.

The Kinder funds were donated to the Trees for Houston “Taking Root” capital campaign, which now enters a public phase after major gifts including $1 million from Kyle and John Kirksey, Sr.; $750,000 from Chevron; and $500,000 from the Ruth and Ted Bauer Family Foundation and the C.T. Bauer Foundation. The total project investment, including land and buildings, is estimated at $8.8 million, with $6.5 million already raised.

With this move, Trees For Houston can consolidate operations into two main tree farms, which  boost annual tree distribution by 20 percent in one year, according to the organization. The Kinder Campus tree nursery — named for Chevron and located near 610 North — will provide efficient, convenient access to free and low-cost tree distribution for constituents and community partners.

Trees for Houston has distributed and planted nearly 20,000 trees in the past year, with the goal of increasing to 100,000 trees within the next five years. Plantings include 5,524 trees with partners such as City of Houston, Memorial Park Conservancy, Spark Park, Houston Arboretum, and the Houston Zoo. The nonprofit has planted more than 600,000 trees since 1983.

“The establishment of a new community campus will be transformational for Trees for Houston as it continues to increase tree distribution across the greater Houston area for years to come,” said Nancy Kinder, president and CEO of the Kinder Foundation, in a release.

“The Kinder Foundation is proud to support Trees for Houston as they continue their commitment to greening the region through the planting, protecting, and promoting of trees.”

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