The TXU Energy Urban Tree Farm at Richland College provides up to 7,000 trees per year to the community through programs like “Tree the Town.” The trees end up at schools, on parkways and medians, and in other public spaces. They even give trees to people whose homes are destroyed by tornadoes.
The Texas Trees Foundation also offers education programs to teach about urban forestry. Also, you’ve probably seen the waterfall and bronze cattle drive in Pioneer Square; they were responsible for that, too.
On the third Saturday of the month (except summer), volunteers come and help get the trees ready to plant by mulching, pruning, weeding, and transplanting. If you have a group of about twenty or more, you can talk to them and they will probably let you come on a weekday if you want. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise, and help make the planet a little healthier and prettier.
I volunteered there for the third time this weekend with the Young Adult Volunteer Organization and my friend Rachel, who I met in Camp Fire many moons ago. (See, Camp Fire instills a lifelong love of service! And you make lifelong friends! Enroll your kids now! I’m not being paid to say this! I can’t stop using exclamation marks!)
There were quite a few people, so they split us into two groups. The other group was weeding, and I was part of the mulching crew. We took buckets, wheel barrows, and shovels over to the big mulch piles and started spreading mulch around the trees that are already planted in the ground. I think they are turning that part into a recreation area.
The weather was nice, but I’m not gonna lie; this was hard work, and I got sweaty. And I’m sore. This was definitely not for wusses. Shout-out to Rachel for being a trooper. We didn’t really know what we were getting into. The last time I went, I was just moving baby trees into bigger pots. But this was fun! I got to hang out with some old friends and make some new ones. And I have Popeye arms now. So I’ve got that going for me.