Simply put, the motto of the Texas Trees Foundation (the “Foundation”) is “The Greening of North Central Texas.” Renamed in 2003 to more accurately reflect its mission, the Foundation sustains a tree planting initiative for neighborhood parkways and medians, schools and other public open spaces, a tree growing facility to assure a healthy supply of trees for the future, and education programs to teach the importance and benefits of maintaining a healthy urban forest.
The Foundation received its Certification of Incorporation from the State of Texas in April 1982. Originally named The Dallas Parks Foundation, its founders established the organization as a resource to support the existing Dallas park system. In 1989, the mission of the Foundation was expanded to focus on the planting of trees in public open space. The tree planting activity of the Foundation has grown from providing several hundred trees per year to providing thousands of trees each year, all on public property.
In 1988, the Foundation merged with Treescape/Dallas, Inc. a project that had been funded by the Dallas Junior League and the Central Dallas Association. In doing so, the Foundation gained an even greater ability to impact urban landscape projects. Treescape’s successful history of attracting and utilizing volunteers and in-kind donations of services and products provided the model currently followed by the Foundation, enabling it to implement its programs in a cost-effective manner.
In 2003, the Foundation was renamed the Texas Trees Foundation to expand the area of focus from Dallas to a six county area that includes: Collin, Dallas, Denton, Rockwell, Tarrant, and Kaufman. At this time, the TTF decided to create two urban tree farms as its main focus. Quality native trees were needed for projects, and the Foundation saw it as a way to create a self-sustaining social enterprise, which we hope to accomplish by the year 2013. With the efforts focused on the nursery production, the link to people and places was diminished. We must now circle back to our roots and reestablish our outreach efforts, programs, and projects so we can get trees planted throughout the Dallas Metroplex area.
The Texas Trees Foundation has a rich history and is positioned to build on the traditions established by its founders and nurtured by its stewardship of the Urban Forest. The investment in the production of trees has sidelined the social benefits that we provided. It is now time for us to return to our “roots” of providing quality education and tree planting opportunities, along with the quality stock that we grow.
In the fall of 2007, the Board of Trustees hired a new Executive Director, Janette K. Monear. The focus for the new hire was to invest in and rebalance the organization to meet the social outcomes with the nursery production business. TTF has a new business plan, “Greening North Central Texas” which takes Ms. Monear’s 25 years of experience in urban forestry, combines it with new technology, and provides a roadmap that will make the Texas Trees Foundation a national leader in greening our communities with trees. The plan integrates the social, economic, environmental, and health benefits that trees provide to community development. We are planning for the future and with the new “Greening North Central Texas” business plan; we will reorganize, reposition, and revitalize the Foundation.