Energy & Environment

City plants first 270 of 100,000 tree goal in order to create more green space in Houston

The City of Houston has a goal to plant 4.6 million trees by the year 2030 to improve air quality, reduce heat, and enhance the city’s greenery.


Mayor Sylvester Turner helps plant trees at Tuffly Park in Kashmere Gardens, as part of the city’s initiative to create more public green space in Houston.

The City of Houston and NRG planted over 270 trees on Friday at Tuffly Park in Kashmere Gardens. They’re working together to plant 100,000 trees across the city of Houston as part of an effort to improve the city's green space while also improving the quality of life for residents.

The initiative aligns with the city's Climate Action Plan to become carbon neutral by the year 2050, but also providing equity and opportunities for under-served communities. Kashmere Gardens is part of the mayor's Complete communities – an initiative that was started to address the needs and improve neighborhoods in Houston that are often under-resourced.

"My job is to enrich the quality of life for citizens all over Houston by providing well maintained parks and offering programming for all ages and all varieties," said Kenneth Allen Director for Houston Parks and Recreation Department. "My role is also to protect, preserve, and steward public green spaces, and it's really a benefit to see communities thrive with a decent tree canopy – and also a good habitat to feed local animals that’s a part of this ecosystem."

Officials said with Houston going through seven declared natural disasters – it's important to preserve nature. The City of Houston has a goal to plant 4.6 million trees by the year 2030 to improve air quality, reduce heat, and enhance the city's greenery.

Gin Kinney with NRG says the program will focus on areas in the city often forgotten.

"Today is super important because we are expanding those greenspaces into areas of the city's complete communities, really happy to be a part of that," she said.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said the Kashmere Gardens community requested more trees in their neighborhood as it is outlined in the community's action plan.

"Through this tree planting initiative we will restore the tree canopy that has been lost," said Mayor Turner. "This will also have the dual effect of beautifying the neighborhoods as well as providing shade to make them cooler and a more pleasant place to live."

Turner said the initiative with NRG is getting the city closer to its goal of planting millions of trees.

"Strategies for offsetting emissions by removing carbon from the air, include planting more trees like the ones we are planting today," he said.

Trees for Houston, a non-profit dedicated to planting, protecting, and trees is also partnering with the city and NRG. Some of the trees provided by NRG will be planted or donated to communities throughout Houston by the organization.

"I'm happy to be a part of that," said Barry Ward, Executive Director of Trees for Houston. "100,000 trees is hard logistically. It’s expensive, and it takes a lot of different people – we’re glad to play our role in that."

The tree planting will take over the next year and a half.

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