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The City of Pharr Awarded, Coveted Tree City USA Designation
by K.C. Fletcher
published April 2018

After over two years of effort, the initial citizen pleas to various City of Pharr government entities for more native trees has resulted in Pharr, Texas being awarded the status of Tree City USA.

Following submission of a stringent application form, reviewed and approved by the Texas Forest Service thence finalized by the National Arbor Day oundation, this award is to be presented to the public on April 2, 2018 at the City Commissioners meeting.

To achieve Tree City USA status, the City of Pharr has met these four standards:

1. A Tree Board legally responsible for the care of all trees on city owned property.

2. A Community Tree Ordinance forming the foundation of a Pharr's tree care program.

3. A Community Forestry Program With an Annual Budget of at Least $2 Per Capita which has been nearly doubled by the City of Pharr.

4. An Arbor Day Observance and Proclamation which is established on April 24 for the citizens of Pharr.

Our Pharr Stewards of Nature of the Phuture will benefit from an already ongoing educational program of PSJA ISD whereby native vegetation is being reintroduced system wide. Involved in this program are Mr. Allen Williams, Principal Mario Bracamontes at Buell Green Inc., Texas Master Gardeners initiatives at Food Bank of the RGV and Jones Box Park.

The City leaders and staff have listened and learned, allowing the idea of re-Pharr-estation to seed their minds, root deeply and grow into a realization of the "green dream" of restoring South Texas drought, disease and pest resistant native trees to our formerly clear-cut 40,000 acre sugar cane plantation, nowadays occupied as the City of Pharr, the least treed municipality of the RGV.

This will result in an even sweeter quality of life hereabouts as we experience a resurgence of the original ancient Mid-Valley Woodlands biome of the larger regional Tamaulipan Thornforest.

Such "Pharrests of the Phuture" would greatly benefit from a City CapitaI Improvement Plan dedicated to this great, green infrastructure. A corresponding 501 (c) 3, perhaps, with the designation of Urban Pharrest Preservation, Propagation, Living Legacy, Advocating Native Trees (U PPPLLANT) may also be beneficial.

Citizens of Pharr, let's all get growing on this initiative to better educate everyone, everywhere, community-wide with this woody wisdom. We shall all have it made in the shade, but first, the shade has to be made for us which will also serve as refuge, rest, refueling and reproduction for our native and migratory wildlife!

Native trees are good! Be a green-grower!

As is the shade provided by a native tree in the scalp sizzling Deep South Texas summer, you too will be so cool!