Volunteers Participate In Major Tree Plant Effort At MacGregor Park

Last year's historic drought has changed the face of Houston's parks. This morning volunteers planted a variety of trees in hard hit Macgregor Park in southeast Houston.

Dead trees may be the face of many of the city's parks, but one way to help reforest green spaces, is through private funding from the corporate community. Alma Kombargi with Aramco Services Company says they've had a longstanding commitment to environmental efforts in Houston.

She says getting employees to volunteer for the MacGregor Park replanting was easy.

"We looked at which parks were devastated. Memorial Park had a lot of support. There was not as much support here at MacGregor Park, so we thought, we'll come out and try to replant. Half the trees I think, were destroyed. So, we're doing thirty 100 gallon trees, and hopefully that will help bring some of the reforestation back."

Experts with Trees for Houston, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving woodlands throughout the area, offered the volunteers a quick lesson on planting, staking and mulching the trees. Barry Ward is Executive Director:

"MacGregor Park has been adopted by Trees for Houston and Aramco Services. They've taken an interest in this part of town and we are continuing to replant from all of the lost trees in this area after the drought."

Ward says the drought presented Trees for Houston with a unique opportunity for the 83-acre park.

"When the drought took out so many trees, you really could almost start from scratch. So, we have a master plan for this park and we're following that plan. So over the next several years, we'll continue to reinstall, based on an architect's master plan for the park."

Hernandez: "Will we ever catch up with the droughts that destroyed all the trees?"

Ward: "You know, in areas like parks you can, because you can maintain them. You can water them. It'll take a generation. It'll take 20-30 years to catch up. That's why it's so crucial to to start now."

He says the corporate community helps in the effort with not only donations, but with volunteers to complete the tree planting.

"In another ten years or so, this will be a beautiful park with lots of mature trees again. We're irrigating everything we put in here, so it's gonna look really nice. It's gonna be a fine-fine neighborhood anchor in the years to come."

Trees for Houston has planted and distributed almost 450,000 trees and seedlings sine 1983.

Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...