COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas A&M Forest Service awarded grants to two community programs — including College Station for Urban Forest Sustainability.
The City of College Station has a five-year plan to help mitigate the effects of urban heat islands.
With an increased grant fund, Texas A&M Forest Service was able to award $43,302 dollars to the city to plant 117 trees around town.
“They start providing benefits right away, but the majority of the benefits will come once they start getting a little bit larger and their canopy starts to expand, and you’ll see a lot of heat island reduction in the areas they are planted,” said Michael Merritt, Program Leader, Urban and Community Forestry, Texas A&M Forest Service.
In 2022, the city developed ‘Cooling College Station’ as an effort to provide a more healthy, green environment, along with more shaded areas.
Michael Merritt with Texas A&M Forest Service says planting more trees help reduce flooding, water runoff, energy conservation, shading houses, and overall pollution mitigation — especially when it comes to hot ground like asphalt.
“That temperature might be 125 degrees, maybe more during the summer, but if a tree is shading that parking lot, then you’re talking about 25-30 degrees of temperature reduction,” Merritt said.
The goal is for College Station to plant over 4,000 trees around town.
He adds that subdivisions with tree canopies is likely to increase moods and encourage people to be outdoors more, and to get more fresh air.