It is the goal of H-GAC's regional urban forestry program to improve the health and diversity of the region's urban forests and increase public awareness about the environmental benefits of trees in the urban setting. The program integrates urban forestry data into H-GAC's Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan, and develops and implements an urban forestry blueprint that identifies and prioritizes urban forestry conservation and restoration projects across the region. The program relies heavily upon cooperation from local municipalities and governments and includes opportunities for public education and community-based volunteer opportunities.
A tree planting program in a small city could produce improved air quality benefits for the region while increasing the amount of greenspace for local citizens and habitat for local wildlife. H-GAC can provide technical and financial assistance to cities, counties and non-profit organizations seeking to increase the number and diversity of trees in their communities. The Community Trees Grant Program is designed to provide small amounts of funding to purchase trees for community-based plantings in parks, public gathering places, and community gateways.
Trees provide a host of benefits to our region: they store $721 million worth of carbon, generate $109 worth of environmental benefits per person per year, save $90 per household in energy costs per year and remove more than 60,000 tons of air pollution per year. Please see our Urban Forestry Publications under "Environmental Stewardship" for more information.
The primary objectives of the program include providing technical assistance to support the development of tree inventories, canopy cover assessments, tree planting lists, ordinances, and tree management plans; identifying and mitigating localized "hot spots"; and, reducing heat island effects.
Andrew PompeiRegional Planner(832) 681-2598Andrew.Pompei@h-gac.com