DALLAS, Texas, July 18, 2002 — Saturday, the Dallas area took a giant step forward in creating a cleaner and greener future as the Dallas Trees and Parks Foundation, Richland College and TXU partnered to create the largest known non-profit urban tree farm in the nation.
Several hundred volunteers and local governmental officials from across the Metroplex pitched in to plant approximately 4,000 trees on land on the southern edge of the Richland College campus.
Local officials on hand to plant trees and lend their support included Lois Finkelman, Dallas City Council member and chair of the Health, Environment and Human Services Committee; Carol Wilson, Richardson City Council member and Shane Johnson, mayor of Rowlett. The trees from the farm will be made available in late 2002 for public space planting projects sponsored by municipalities, area businesses, individuals, civic groups and other organizations.
“This Urban Tree Farm will go a long way in enhancing the lifestyle of our local communities,” said Mike Bradshaw, executive director, Dallas Trees and Parks Foundation. “TXU and Richland College recognize the importance of trees in an increasingly urban environment and have stepped up to the plate to provide the assistance and resources to make this project happen.”
The trees were chosen by the Dallas Trees and Parks Foundation for their resilience and adaptability to the Texas climate. They include Bald Cypress, Burr Oak, Chinese Pistachio, Chinquapin Oak to Live Oak, Shumard Red Oak, and Sawtooth Oak. The trees are expected to offset the 20,000 trees that are lost annually in Dallas from natural mortality and commercial development.
“TXU has always been enthusiastic about both the environment and our local communities in which we are privileged to live and work. We are pleased to be involved in a project that promises to enhance the quality of the environment for future generations,” said Brenda Jackson, TXU executive vice president of Business Services.
“TXU has already planted more than 18 million trees, so this effort taking place recently is consistent with our tradition,” added Bill Driscoll, TXU vice president of Environment Health and Safety. Classes in horticulture and arboriculture that complement and support a tree-growing facility are offered at the Richland Campus.
In addition, the Urban Tree Farm will demonstrate a state-of-the-art watering system that ensures an efficient and effective use of water for Dallas’ long dry summer. Each tree will be watered for less than $1.00 a year.
“The Urban Tree Farm is a significant enhancement to Richland’s Horticulture tree propagation and landscape design study program, as well as a project consistent with one of Richland’s community emphasis areas–sustainable community environment,” said Dr. Stephen K. Mittelstet, president of Richland College.
“The project will also give Richland students, employees and other volunteer groups opportunities to come to campus and have a literal hand in improving their neighborhood environment.”
The Mission of the Dallas Trees and Parks Foundation is to preserve, beautify and expand parks and other public natural green spaces in a six county area surrounding the City of Dallas, and to beautify our public streets, boulevards and rights-of-way by planting trees and encouraging others to do the same through educational programs that focus on the importance of building and protecting the “urban forest” recently as a legacy for generations to come.
The Foundation will share its vision on a national level, but will focus its efforts and develop loyalties among communities in Dallas, Collin, Kaufman, Rockwall, Ellis and Denton Counties. Additional information can be found at www.dallastpf.org.
Richland College, one of seven in the Dallas County Community College District, enrolls 15,000 college credit students and 8,000 continuing education students each semester. Richland College is one of the top five transfer institutions in Texas offering the freshman and sophomore years of a fully-accredited curriculum. Complete information about Richland College is available at www.richlandcollege.edu.
TXU provides electric and natural gas services, merchant energy trading, energy marketing, energy delivery, telecommunications, and energy-related services, primarily in the United States, Europe and Australia. With $40 billion in assets and $28 billion in annual revenue, TXU is one of the world’s leading energy services companies.
TXU owns or controls extensive generation, owns and operates regulated networks in the U.S. and Australia, and serves 11 million customers around the world through its competitive retail business. TXU sells 330 million megawatt hours of electricity and 2.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas annually. Visit www.txu.com for more information on TXU.