Iranian American City Council Member Spurs Largest Tree Planting Initiative in N. Texas History
Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA)
May 4, 2010, Richardson, TX - For
Richardson City Council member Amir Omar, a simple idea has turned into a
massive campaign. While running last summer, Omar took note of the lack of shade
on certain trails in his city and decided to do something about it. With
widespread support from corporate sponsors, nonprofits, and volunteers, Amir
Omar's simple goal of providing shade has turned into the largest tree planting
initiative Northern Texas has ever seen.
The project, "Tree the Town", aims to plant 50,000 trees on public as well as
private property in Richardson within the next ten years. According to Michael
Massey, Director of Richardson's Parks and Recreation Department, the project
has received "an overwhelming response of people wanting to participate."
Although the cost estimates to plant 50,000 trees run as high as $34 million,
"Tree the Town" will be of no financial burden on the City of Richardson. "The
city is relying on volunteers to do most of the planting on public land and has
incurred no additional budgeted costs," stated Omar. The Texas Tree Foundation,
a nonprofit organization, is working with sponsors to select and position trees
in strategic locations where they can help reduce pollution and noise while
beautifying the City.
Richardson residents, corporations, small businesses, neighborhood associations,
and civic clubs have all been invited to participate, and individuals who plant
trees on their private property may register them with the "Tree the Town"
initiative. On April 18th, the first group of one hundred trees was planted by
an eager group of volunteers comprised of a cross section of the community
including Boy and Girl Scouts as well as University of Texas Dallas college
"For me, the biggest impact of this effort will be in the category of community
building," said Omar. "You know an idea is worthwhile when you have people with
several different interests getting together for one goal." The first Iranian
American to be elected to serve in public office in the Dallas/Fort Worth area,
Amir Omar has served on the Richardson City Council since June of 2009.
Click here to learn more about Amir Omar.
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