By Tim Gerber
San Antonio, TX (January 18, 2011)- In an ongoing effort to revitalize the heart of San Antonio and restore the city’s disappearing tree canopy, City Council members will consider spending $500,000 to plant 1,000 trees in the central business district.
“It’s the decade of downtown and trees are a part of that,” said Paula Stallcup, director of Downtown Operations. If the one-time expenditure is approved, the city would begin planting the trees in a variety of areas downtown. According to Stallcup, most won’t be planted in parks.
“We’re looking at a few trees in our parks but mostly we’re looking at along the walkways and the pedestrian areas, where you know right now if it’s hard concrete what we’re trying to do is green that up,” Stallcup said. “We’re trying to make that a more pleasant walkway and a more pleasant experience for our residents and visitors.”
The downtown tree planting initiative is actually a small part of a larger initiative called, Plant Trees San Antonio – Great Parks Are Rooted In Trees. The campaign calls for planting 9,000 trees across the city over a 12-month period. Under that initiative passed by council members last June, more than 6,000 trees have already been planted in city parks. The plan originally left out the downtown area, and Stallcup said this proposal seeks to fix that oversight.
According to the Stallcup, planting more trees will help reduce energy costs, provide cleaner air, control storm water runoff and over time reduce summer temperatures. The goal is to make downtown more pedestrian friendly. “Definitely more pedestrian friendly,” Stallcup said. “We all know how hot it gets in San Antonio and we’re just trying to prepare for that future generation to be a little bit cooler with more canopy.”
If approved, the trees will be planted between March and April. Depending where they are planted, the trees will range in size from small to large and will include a variety species such as Mountain Laurel and Live Oak trees. According to Stallcup, the majority of the money being requested will be used to make the infrastructure improvements needed to plant trees in existing right of ways such as sidewalks and medians.
KSAT 12 News- San Antonio Council Asked To Approve Trees