NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Every now and then, I take a break from learning about various plants and trees, and see who else is planting living things across north Texas. A couple of months ago I did a story on Oak Wilt, a deadly fungus killing Oak trees in our area. I did the story with the Texas Tree Foundation and learned about their awesome Cool Schools/Community Parks program. This “all-about-the-trees” organization has teamed up with the Dallas ISD to build out several Cool School Neighborhood Parks and outdoor classrooms. Probably the most shocking thing I heard when doing this story is how school playgrounds are mostly devoid of shade. Most large school playgrounds across Dallas are wide open spaces with hardly a tree in sight. The Cool School program plants trees and keeps them on a weekly watering schedule to grow out the canopy in the space.

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It is said the best time to plant a tree is ten years ago; this is a long-vision project. But not only do students in the future get a park-like setting around their school, current students get an outdoor classroom. Teaching our youth about stewardship of the outdoors is an integral part of any young person’s education. I am a HUGE fan of this program.

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The projects also include a small community park on the grounds for parents and kids to use after hours. I hope I can encourage you to involve yourself in the program. Donations are always needed as they continue to expand out playground/parks to all deserving schools.

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I’m spending the next couple of weeks talking more about trees. In the wake of the historic freeze of last February, now is the time to decide if that damaged tree is worth saving. I also talk about watering trees; the last, hot & dry days of summer is when to make sure your trees are not suffering from neglect.