Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Houston Mayor Lends City Support to Planting a Million Trees in Next Five Years

Last June Houston Mayor Bill White facilitated the destruction of 126 live oak trees to make room for more traffic on a major Houston thoroughfare. He was opposed at the time by Trees for Houston, the volunteer group that had planted the trees 20 years ago.

In what could be construed as public penance for his sin against the environment, the mayor announced yesterday that the city is now joining with
Trees for Houston in what the Houston Chronicle called "a multimillion dollar public-private partnership to plant more than a million trees in the city in the next five years."

Other participants in the plan include the Texas Department of Transportation, Harris County and the Houston Forest Service, as well as corporate sponsors, management districts and other civic groups.

As a matter of timing, the plan comes in response to Hurricane Ike, blamed for the loss of "tens of thousands of trees," the Chronicle said. The city estimates that 3,500 trees were lost in city parks and golf courses alone.

Although the report did not say that the plan would contribute to the planned replacement of the Kirby trees, 38 esplanades on another major street are slated to get 4,500 new trees. Let's say this latest move by Mayor White will not hurt his standing with those who were dismayed with chopping down the Kirby trees.

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