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City completes forestry study
Mesquite Parks and Recreation staff, along with the Texas A&M Forestry Service presented findings of the Urban Forest Ecosystem Analysis at the Dec. 3 city council meeting. This analysis is part of a yearlong study of the make-up and condition of trees in Mesquite.
Mesquite is the third city in Texas to complete the Urban Forest Ecosystem analysis and one of only 773 cities in the nation. The analysis included a survey of 225 random plots throughout the city. The survey was performed by city staff, Texas A& M Forest Service Staff and the Texas Trees Foundation. The study’s findings, estimate that there are 2,091,000 trees in Mesquite which cover nearly 24 percent of the city’s area. One unique feature of this study is that it places a value on the urban forest at $996 million.
“Trees are beneficial to the environment and are valuable to the quality of life in a community. Trees remove pollutants from the air and increase oxygen levels in the atmosphere. They also provide shade for houses and buildings which reduces energy consumption,” said Micah Pace, Texas A&M Forest Service.
Mesquite has long had a dedication to trees in the community. The city began its Urban Forestry Program in 1988 under the direction of the parks and recreation department. At this time, the city set a goal to plant 20,000 trees by the year 2000. Through the efforts of a vigorous, in-house planting schedule, establishments of a landscape ordinance for new development and a tree ordinance designed to replace trees lost during development, the city met this goal in 1999. Mesquite has revived the designation of Tree City USA for 23 consecutive years.
“This analysis proves that the effort of the community, to plant and protect trees over the past 20 years, has been a tremendous value to the community,” said Travis Sales, manager of park services and municipal arborist for the city of Mesquite,
For information or to access the EcoStudy PDF please visit www.cityofmesquite.com/pard or call 972-216-6260.
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