Trees For Houston is the volunteer non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in Houston, Texas dedicated to the orderly planting of street trees along Houston's major arterial streets and freeways. Since our incorporation in 1983, we have been responsible for the planting and monitoring of over 214,301 street trees and seedlings. Trees For Houston has a paid staff of five, is governed by a 53 member volunteer Board of Directors, and is counseled by a 35 member Advisory Board of Directors.
Our organization was founded under the leadership of two visionary attorneys interested in improving the quality of life in Houston at a time when there was no incentive or requirement to plant street trees. Trees For Houston has embraced all available resources of training and counsel to secure knowledgeable information to achieve our goals to plant street trees economically, proficiently, successfully and responsibly. Correct and thorough maintenance and monitoring has made possible the high rate of success observed in our plantings. Trees For Houston leadership has been visionary in setting the standards for our success locally, regionally and nationally. Our organization has received over 30 awards in all 3 areas.
An example of a Trees For Houston project indicative of the resourcefulness typical of our work is the Trees for the Texas Avenue Campaign. Trees For Houston, Scenic Houston and the Houston Downtown Management District collaborated to restore beauty and history to one of Houston's oldest and most used streets. Phase I of the campaign called for wider sidewalks, decorative benches, skirted streetlights with historical markers and 60, 100-gallon laurel oaks. The improvements in Phase I, from Bagby to Main Street, were completed in May of 2000. Donations totaling $1.4 million from Bank of Houston, The Brown Foundation, Chevron, The Margaret & James A. Elkins Foundation and The Wortham Foundation funded Phase I of the project. Improvements for Phase II of the project, from Main Street to ENRON Field, are being funded by Burlinton Resources, Inc., PG, Leslie Elkins Sasser, the Vale-Asche Foundation and Vaughan, Nelson, Scarborough & McCullough. The quality and quantity of the trees will stand as a benefit to pedestrians as they walk across downtown Houston.
The tree planting performed by Trees For Houston are in agreement and in coordination with the City of Houston. Trees are planted along Houston's major freeways in agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation. The majority of plantings are performed by landscape contractors who carry out the Trees For Houston specifications for native plant material and procedures. Neighborhood Projects are maintained by the community. Trees For Houston maintains the Parkway Projects, the School Projects and the Challenge Project.
Trees For Houston is an efficient, innovative, effective program that is addressing not only the visual enhancement of Houston, but also the urban forest issues in Houston by working productively with both private and public sector support, by encouraging and involving corporate, foundation, and individual partners, and by counseling from entities with expertise such as the U.S.D.A. Forest Service and American Forests. The Texas Forest Service states, "Trees For Houston is now unique among non-profit tree planting groups and represents a major player in Houston's overall urban forest program." Future generations will recognize the contributions of the efforts of those committed to the service that Trees For Houston provides to both the residents and visitors of Houston.