HOUSTON (March xx, 2012) - As the autumn of 2011 began, Mother Nature's record-high temperatures combined with record-low rainfall revealed a dramatic toll on our beloved forest in Memorial Park. By early October, it was evident most of the pine canopy and many older oaks were dying.
For the past few months, Memorial Park Conservancy (MPC) and Houston Parks and Recreations Department (HPARD) have worked with forestry experts to reassess the conditions and revise the forestry management plan, which was announced last summer, to accommodate the new reality. Since many trees died prematurely due to the drought, the implementation of the forestry plan will be accelerated but remains the same - to prepare the forest for the planting of new native trees and vegetation to ensure a healthy, sustainable forest for future generations of Houstonians.
Site-preparation work will begin immediately to remove more dead trees and mulching invasive underbrush while continuing on a fast track to prepare (weather permitting) for planting thousands of seedlings and trees by the next season in the Fall. The tree and invasive species removal work is expected to last a few months and will move throughout Memorial Park based on the guidance of Forestry experts and HPARD staff.
"Just as a wise gardener spends time preparing the beds before planting the flowers, so a wise forester prepares the site before planting a new forest," said Claire Caudill, Chair of MPC's Conservation Committee. "When we announced the forestry plan last year, it was the result of years of research and planning between MPC and HPARD and our team of professional foresters. We are now ready to move forward with that plan under the new conditions. If you love Memorial Park or if you one of approximately 10,000 people who use the park daily, please visit us on our website - www.memorialparkconservancy.org and make a contribution to the preparation and planting of our new forest. Or, when you're enjoying the park, drop a check or cash in the donation stump along the Lieberman Trail directly in front of Tennis Plaza."
The Forestry Program is funded through contributions to MPC, which primarily come from the generous donations made by individuals, businesses, and foundations in the Houston area.
For more information about the forestry management plan and the site preparation work being done or to make a donation, visit MPC's website at www.memorialparkconservancy.org.
About Memorial Park Conservancy
Memorial Park Conservancy's mission is to preserve, restore and enhance Memorial Park for the enjoyment of all Houstonians, today and tomorrow.
About theHoustonParks and Recreation Department
The HoustonParks and Recreation Department (HPARD) stewards and manages over 38,995 acres of parkland and greenspace for the City of Houston and develops and implements recreational programming for citizens of all abilities. For more information on the HoustonParks and Recreation Department, call (832) 395-7022 or visit www.houstonparks.org.