Dallas is ranked 8th by the American Lung Association for the poorest air quality in the nation for ozone and non-attainment for the EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Additionally, school campuses in Dallas are some of the hottest and least shaded urban heat islands in North Texas. Over 89,000 children in Dallas are affected by these conditions, but effective solutions exist by using trees as a nature-based solution. Organizations such as General Motors (GM), Texas Tree Foundation (TTF), and Texan by Nature (TxN) recently worked together to combat heat island effects by installing a Cool Schools project. Located in West Dallas, Jesus Molores Expressive Arts Vanguard students planted 50+ trees around the new walking loop to improve tree canopy and air quality and provide shade for recreation.
The Texas Trees Foundation Cool Schools program participated in the Texan by Nature’s Conservation Wrangler program in 2018 and continues an ongoing partnership through the Texan by Nature’s Conservation Partner program. In late 2021, Texan by Nature met with GM to discuss their Climate Equity Fund, and after learning about GM’s priorities in the DFW area, connected them to Texas Trees Foundation, establishing the collaboration.
Trees cool the surfaces of the surrounding environment through shading and offer additional ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, air pollution removal, energy savings, and stormwater runoff mitigation. In addition to environmental benefits, trees and green space help students inside the classroom. The University of Champaign Urbana of Illinois reported that kids who spend more time outside end up paying more attention inside. Trees and nature lower aggression and symptoms of ADHD, and children experience better concentration, complete tasks more easily, and follow directions. This project creates a long-term, lasting impact as thousands of students will reap these benefits for years to come.
“The generous funding from GM and our partnership with Texan by Nature is a collaborative effort that will truly transform Jesus Moroles Expressive Arts School. We can’t wait for the children to play outside under the cooling shade of the new trees that will be planted. And we are excited to see the students benefit from the S.T.E.M.-based curriculum that will tie into the new outdoor spaces that will be installed.”
–Janette Monear, President of Texas Trees Foundation
— Jesús Moroles Expressive Arts Vanguard (@MorolesEagles) April 8, 2022
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About Texas Trees Foundation:
Celebrating 40 years of addressing urban forestry issues in Dallas, Texas Trees Foundation has served as a catalyst in creating a reimagined green legacy for North Texas. Scientific research has driven a vision to transform outdoor spaces and to educate the public of the social, economic, environmental, and health benefits provided through urban forestry. With current programs, such as NeighborWoods and Cool Schools, Texas Trees Foundation is taking action to mitigate urban heat through the preservation and expansion of natural green spaces, made possible by tree planting. Since 1982, Texas Trees Foundation has continued to advocate for a cleaner, greener, and healthier Texas. For more information on Texas Trees Foundation programs and projects, visit www.texastrees.org.