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Dallas Observer - A Tree Grows in the Deck Park

December 6, 2011

A Tree Grows in the Deck Park
By Robert Wilonsky


A Tree Grows in the Deck Park
Photo by Willis Winters

Yesterday the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation sent word: The deck park would be receiving its first trees this morning, at 'round 10:30. I was told that despite the cold temperatures, the timing was good: "This season is the preferred time to plant because leaves are gone so the trees will not be stressed to provide nourishment to the leaves and can focus on the trunk and the branches."

This one is a River Birch from Hawkinsville, Georgia, planted at exactly 11:22 a.m., courtesy the watch of Park and Rec's second-in-command Willis Winters. It was among two dozen donated trees planted today. But this one, this is the very first.

Update: For those with some questions, the Park Foundation's official release follows, and it contains a few answers.

First Trees Planted at The Park
The Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation Announces Tree Trust

DALLAS (Dec. 06, 2011) - The Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation welcomed the first 25 of 322 trees to be planted in The Park with the announcement of a new program, the Tree Trust. Contractors began planting the grove of River Birch trees, generously endowed by the TurningPoint Foundation, in the future site of the Children's Park on Tuesday morning.

"The Park is literally coming to life with the arrival of our first trees," said Linda Owen, president of The Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation. "It becomes a three-dimensional project that signals just how close we are to finishing this outdoor community center in the heart of downtown Dallas."

The Tree Trust provides an opportunity for donors to make possible a tree or a grove in The Park at the $25,000 level and above. Tree Trust donors can select from six different species. Along with the River Birches endowed by the TurningPoint Foundation, Piper and Mike Wyatt have endowed two trees, a Pond Cypress in honor of Bruce Calder and a Red Oak, the past Stemmons Service Award recipients have endowed a tree, and another Red Oak has been endowed by Gaedeke Group.

Sustainability is key to The Park's landscaping plan, designed by the Office of James Burnett. The tree species -- Texas-native Shumard's Red Oak, Bur Oak, Pond Cypress, River Birch, Pistache and Lacebark Elm -- were selected specifically for their durability and have been cultivated for the city climate. Landscaping will also include 32 native Texas species out of 37 total plant species.

Trees in The Park will be planted in trenches designed to support their weight while ensuring they are able to reach maximum growth. At maturity, the trees will sequester an estimated seven tons of carbon per year.

All landscaping in The Park will be maintained using a high-efficiency irrigation system which limits water lost to overspray and evaporation, saving approximately 350,000 gallons of water each year.