FIRST PLACE TEAM PLANTS 100 TREES IN 20 MINUTES
AT 2012 ARBOR DAY TREE PLANTING COMPETITION
Volunteers Collectively Plant 1,300 Trees at Stormwater Detention Basin Site
off West Sam Houston Parkway
More than 130 volunteers braved frigid temperatures and muddy conditions Feb. 11 to plant 1,300 trees in less than two hours at the Texas Urban Forestry Council’s 2012 Arbor Day Tree Planting Competition sponsored by the Houston Area Urban Forestry Council and the Harris County Flood Control District.
The 13 teams that competed transformed the landscape of a Flood Control District stormwater detention basin site located south of Fallbrook Drive and east of the northbound West Sam Houston Parkway North feeder road. The basin stores overflow stormwater on a Flood Control District drainage channel that serves as a tributary to White Oak Bayou in northwest Harris County.
The top, and only, team in the professional category – BIO Landscape and Maintenance, Inc. – planted 100 trees in 20 minutes. That team’s planting time, along with the teams that placed first, second and third in the amateur and youth categories, will be submitted to the state level to compete for the Texas Urban Forestry Council’s top awards. The winners will be announced at the State Arbor Day Ceremonies on April 27.
The results of the Texas Urban Forestry Council’s 2012 Arbor Day Tree Planting Competition (by category):
BIO Landscape and Maintenance, Inc. (20 minutes)
1st Place - Kirskey Architecture (1 hour, 11 minutes)
2nd Place - Houston Community College Team 3 (1 hour, 34 minutes, 2 seconds)
3rd Place - Houston Community College Team 1 (1 hour, 34 minutes, 3 seconds)
1st Place - Memorial Outreach Bunch (MOB) Red Team – (1 hour, 35 minutes, 14 seconds)
2nd Place - Memorial Outreach Bunch (MOB) Blue Team – (1 hour, 50 minutes, 19 seconds)
“We are proud that we were able to plant 1,300 trees in less than ideal conditions with an amazing group of volunteers,” said Mickey Merritt, Bayou Region Urban Forestry Coordinator for the Texas Forest Service. “We were also able to demonstrate to volunteers the proper way to plant trees, which will carry over to future tree plantings.”
Through this annual event, the Houston Area Urban Forestry Council is able to educate participants on proper tree planting and maintenance methods and the Flood Control District and taxpayers are the beneficiaries of trees on a formerly bare stormwater detention basin site. The Houston Area Urban Forestry Council supplied volunteer judges and timers for the event. All participants had the opportunity to take part in an event that promotes tree planting in Harris County during a time when many trees have been lost to disease and drought.
The Flood Control District furnished the trees and will maintain them for a two-year period while they establish root systems. The District will also plant an additional 1,020 trees at the bottom and on the sides of the 10.2-acre stormwater detention basin site.
The Flood Control District is the No. 2 tree-planting government agency in Harris County and plants approximately 20,000 trees every year through its Tree Planting Program. New tree plantings occur during planting season (typically October through March) on project sites throughout Harris County.
The Flood Control District also maintains a tree nursery where there are about 6,000 trees in various growth stages. While the most visible reward gained from tree plantings is the beautification of bayous, creeks and stormwater detention basins, trees also reduce the risk of erosion in drainage channels and stormwater detention basins and lower maintenance costs, said District Spokeswoman Heather Saucier. They also improve water quality, create a shade canopy that reduces mowing costs and provide wildlife habitat.
ABOUT THE HARRIS COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL DISTRICT
The Harris County Flood Control District provides projects that reduce flooding risks and damages from bayous and creeks, with appropriate regard for community and natural values. With more than 1,500 bayous and creeks totaling approximately 2,500 miles in length, the Flood Control District accomplishes its mission by devising flood damage reduction plans, implementing the plans and maintaining the infrastructure. To learn more about the Flood Control District, visit www.hcfcd.org.