Climate Action

Tree planting in Dallas a success

This Tuesday, I traveled to Dallas, TX to plant trees on behalf of Earth Day Network with volunteers from our partner, Southwest Airlines. We were all bundled in many layers—that morning it was 28 degrees, a pretty cold day for Dallas! Despite red noses, we were excited to start planting trees on Maple Lawn Elementary School’s campus. Texas Trees Foundation, a local non-profit provided us with 25 trees and expertise through their program, The Giving Tree. They gave us a short demo on how to plant a tree, telling us to “tease the roots” before covering them with dirt so that it would grow up tall and healthy. The pros made it look easy. We had to jump on our shovels a lot more than they did to get through the Dallas clay! But it felt good to have our hands deep in the soil and see our exertion change the landscape of a schoolyard. We stood, covered in dirt and proud of our accomplishment, as Tyler from Texas Trees Foundation told us that not only were we adding more trees to the landscape, we were increasing Maple Lawn students’ opportunities for success. He pointed to studies that have shown that schools with tree cover lower asthma rates and help students with ADHD concentrate for longer periods of time. I also got to read The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein, aloud to a room full of students. The moment I walked in the door with the book in my hand, kids pointed and whispered, “That’s my favorite book!” (I was so happy to see that!) The story is about a boy and a tree, a tree that gives him a shady spot to rest, apples to sell, a trunk to build a house, and friendship. Matt from Texas Trees Foundation brought the moral of the story home to the kids by asking them think about how much trees give us, and how we have to be like the giving tree and return the favor to our environment. Earth Day Network is grateful to have a partner like Southwest that is committed to bettering the environment and creating a cleaner, more sustainable tomorrow. Thank you for all your hard work, Southwest! See the press release here. by Johanna Bozuwa, EDN Program and Policy Coordinator