Tulsa, OK (January 23, 2008)- Up With Trees is a nonprofit dedicated to planting, preserving and promoting Tulsa’s urban forest. With the support of volunteers and donors, they plant primarily along streets or trails, in parks, or on other public property. Founded in 1976, they have planted more than 18,000 trees and now maintain more than 450 tree sites in the Tulsa area. The mission of Up With Trees is to beautify greater Tulsa by planting trees and to create urban forestry awareness through education.
For more than 30 years, Up With Trees has beautified Tulsa one tree at a time. Back in 1976, Tulsa faced a serious problem. After close to 80 years of growth and progress, the city’s urban forest was shrinking. Development, storms, and disease had taken a toll. Experts estimated that Tulsa’s urban forest was 200,000 trees short.
The issue came to a head in 1974 when 51st Street was being widened. A high school student called then-Streets Commissioner Sid Patterson and asked what the city was doing to replace the trees lost during the project. In fact, the city was doing little. In Tulsa’s energy-driven economy, times were hard and there were no funds available for trees, let alone the labor to plant and maintain them. Patterson mulled over the challenge made by the teenage activist. Indeed, citizens of Tulsa should be concerned about their environment, and trees are an important part of nature’s ecosystem. But where could they find the funds and labor to accomplish the task?
The street commissioner organized groups of Tulsa Garden Club members, landscape architects, and representatives from several civic groups. The problem was discussed, and plans were formulated. In 1976, Up With Trees was born.
For more information, visit Up With Trees.