When a Major Event Comes to Your Town- Part 2 of 3
(Houston, TX)- Trees for Houston, with support from state sales tax revenue, helped to coordinate the planting of more than 4,000 trees in downtown Houston when the 2004 Major League Baseball All Star Game was held there.
Although you might not associate trees with sports, the arrival of a major sports event to your city can mean an opportunity for significant tree planting. Several organizations that are members of the Alliance for Community Trees have partnered with major league sports and the Olympics to plant trees to beautify the areas surrounding the events or to offset the increased greenhouse emissions resulting from the events. Goals, results and funding differ depending on local and state priorities and the sports organizations involved.
When Major League Baseball’s All Star Game came to Houston in 2004, the Mayor’s office tapped Trees for Houston to help coordinate the beautification of the downtown area, including the planting of more than 4,000 trees.
Most of the money for the plantings came from projected sales tax revenues that the state legislature mandated be set aside to help the city defray expenses related to the event. Approximately $800,000 was earmarked for tree plantings, including the preparation and clean-up of sidewalks and adjacent properties. This covered administrative costs of about 10 percent, as well as money for two years of tree maintenance.
Trees for Houston was responsible for coordinating the overall planting, which involved working with landscape contractors and several other local nonprofits.
The entire project had to be completed within less than a month. Trees for Houston relied on its past experience with local contractors and nonprofits to get the job accomplished quickly. It utilized Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to find the best places for plantings and to document the results.
1. Be clear on roles and responsibilities.
2. Stay in close communication with your partners by phone and in person.
3. Remember to calculate and fund administrative costs.
4. Establish a good accounting/bookkeeping system and stay on top of all expenses and disbursements.
5. GIS is an excellent tool to use in mapping your results to show past and potential supporters.
6. This is a wonderful way to increase your organization’s visibility in the community.
7. Your organization can make connections through this event that will be helpful later on.
Kathy Lord, Executive Director
Trees for Houston
P.O. Box 130096
Houston, Texas 78767
Fax: (713) 840-8734