The Saturday before Thanksgiving was (thankfully) super weather for planting trees, and dozens heeded the call to help add 42 new trees to Rosedale’s Ramsey Park. The planting was originally going to be 30 trees to be installed on November 7th, but rainy weather pushed the event to the 21st, and in the process the number of trees grew to 42, including two larger oaks.
The City of Austin’s Urban Forestry program, in cooperation with the Rosedale Neighborhood Association (RNA), coordinated the planting. Urban Forestry provided the trees, along with many big truckloads of mulch, lots of rakes, shovels and wheel barrows, good direction, as well as their own hard work. The RNA’s Jeff Archer oversaw the event, helping to get volunteers (and breakfast tacos) to the planting, along with lots of water to keep the volunteers hydrated.
Rosedale is lucky to be represented by two of Austin’s 10 district council members and both representatives Pool and Gallo were on hand to help out. Council member Pool took shovel in hand to help spread the mountains of mulch to encourage the growth of the newly planted trees and those installed in the other recent plantings. This picture shows representative Pool, and another volunteer, dwarfed by one of the two large White/Monterrey Oaks planted on the 21st.
The event started at 9am and continued for more than three hours. Many Rosedale residents, heeding the call, showed up with gloves on, ready to dig. Others hadn’t heard of the planned event but saw the activity while out walking and rushed home to grab their gloves to pitch in. The city had publicized the volunteer opportunity and organizations from the University of Texas and even Texas A&M in College Station showed up. All this help made possible something that would have been much harder, if not impossible, without the generous assistance of the significant number of selfless volunteers.
In addition to tacos, coffee, and drinks provided by RNA, volunteers received thanks in the form of coupons from Chipotle good for free burritos, guacamole and chips. Austin Mayor Steve Adler even recognized the event by issuing an official proclamation declaring Saturday, November 21st as Ramsey Park Tree Planting Day. Council Member Sheri Gallo gave up time on her Saturday to read the proclamation and personally thank all the volunteers. She also attended the RNA’s annual meeting the following Monday to personally present the proclamation to Alison Alter, the chair of the RNA’s Parks Committee.
Nature even smiled on the event, delivering soaking rain within the following week, but even before the rains, the city was out again with their reclaimed water, ensuring every new tree got a big drink to help them on their way to a long and shady future. The city has been watering all the young trees in the park regularly with reclaimed water and plans to continue, as appropriate, until the trees are fully established.
Ramsey Park is the jewel of the Rosedale Neighborhood but its amenities and natural beauty don’t happen by themselves. So a huge Thanksgiving thanks to the city, the volunteers from the neighborhood and beyond, the members of the Rosedale Neighborhood Association, and all who continue to improve the park for the citizens to enjoy today and for generations to come.