By Leigh Munsil
Arlington, TX (September 15, 2010)- In a suite overlooking the field where Super Bowl XLV will be played, representatives from 12 North Texas cities met Tuesday to kick off an initiative “green” enough to rival the Cowboys Stadium turf.
The Super Grow XLV program will plant more than 6,500 trees in local cities before game day in an attempt to minimize the Super Bowl’s impact on the local environment. Seedlings will be given to thousands of schoolchildren, and 12 North Texas cities will coordinate tree planting projects this fall. The effort will culminate in a final planting in Arlington on Jan. 21.
“The tree planting is really to counter the carbon you have when you’re having football – all the coming and going,” said Janette Monear, executive director of the Texas Trees Foundation. The host committee cities participating in the program are Addison, Arlington, Dallas, Denton, Farmers Branch , Fort Worth, Frisco, Grapevine, Irving , Lewisville , Plano and Richardson.
Each of the cities will be provided with 45 native Texas trees and a plaque on a stone to mark the trees’ purpose and relation to the Super Bowl. To participate, each city must donate $3,000 in cash or in-kind donations of labor and resources, and the trees must be planted on public land.
Other than Arlington’s planting in January, Richardson is the only city that has set a date to plant the trees. The other cities have been asked to submit their requests for planting dates within the week.
Besides the 45 trees from the Super Bowl program, Richardson will purchase an additional 55 trees to plant at Huffhines Park on Oct. 30.
The city kicked off a “Tree The Town” program this spring that intends to plant and care for 50,000 new trees in the city. By the end of this year, Richardson will have planted more than 900 trees along community thoroughfares and trails. “[Super Grow] is just another aspect of responsibility of being a host committee city,” said Roger Scott, assistant director of Richardson’s parks and recreation department.
During last week’s storms, at least four trees in Richardson were destroyed, Scott said. “To lose trees like that, even though that’s a healthy native forest … it just hurts to lose trees, so any opportunity we have to add to our urban forestry is important,” he said.
Detailed instructions on how to properly plant a tree were included in the packets handed out at the meeting, and arborists from Moore Tree Care will work with cities. “We want every tree that’s in the ground to be planted correctly,” Monear said. “There’s no reason these trees won’t live forever.” Pausing to laugh, she added: “Well, past our lifetimes.”
The Dallas Morning News
Texas Trees Foundation