HOUSTON - Hispanic families in the Houston area are invited to participate in a special event today honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service and Arbor Day in the City of Houston as part of the National Environmental Education Foundation's (NEEF) “Nuestros Espacios Verdes DÃa a DÃa” or “Our Green Spaces Every Day” campaign.
A partnership of Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD), Student Conservation Association (SCA ConServe Houston), Trees for Houston and Bayou Preservation Association (BPA), “Nuestros Espacios Verdes DÃa a DÃa” or “Our Green Spaces Every Day” features a series of tree planting and tree care events led by forestry experts that are free and open to volunteers. The initiative seeks to elevate awareness about the importance of planting trees for health benefits and pollution reduction in Houston communities.
Houston and surrounding areas have lost more than one million trees as a result of recent droughts. Urban forests are key to the economic, environmental and social health of cities. Studies show that trees have a significant positive impact on youth that suffer from illnesses such as asthma.
Urban populations are at a disadvantage when it comes to accessing green spaces with healthy trees and forests. Hispanic families that reside in marginalized neighborhoods in large cities face unique obstacles in gaining access to urban forests and green spaces.
Under the guidance of HPARD, SCA and other local partners, families are volunteering from 9:00am to 12:00pm to plant trees and remove invasive plant species at Sunny Side Park and Community Center off of Bellfort Street.
“The time spent planting trees confirms that Hispanic families have a clear sense of responsibility about the importance of caring for and preserving green spaces, but at times lack the necessary information or tools to do so,” said Victor CÃ³rdova, HPARD Assistant Director of Urban Forestry.
Juana PÃ©rez, a Houston resident participating in the event with her husband and two children, is happy that HPARD and local environmental organizations offer free outdoor recreational activities that are not only good for the family, but also for the environment.
“Being able to count on adequate information and support makes all the difference to those of us interested in the environment,” Perez explained. “We were also delighted that Parks and Recreation are inviting us to the outdoors to share personal experiences. And all without spending money, which makes it possible for our family to participate.”
Here is a list of upcoming Nuestros Espacios Verdes DÃa a DÃa events in Houston:
|Jan 31||Sunny Side Park & Community Center||Tree planting/invasive species removal|
|Feb 14||Freed Park||Tree planting|
|Mar 21||Houston Arboretum||Habitat restoration|
|Mar 28||Collins Park||Trash clean up|
|Apr 8||Houston Parks & Rec. Department||Earth Day conservation activities|
|Apr 11||Discovery Green||Earth Day festival|
Nuestros Espacios Verdes DÃa a DÃa (Our Green Spaces Every Day) is funded by the U.S. Forest Service's Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program and launched by the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) in partnership with National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and Hispanic Communications Network (HCN).
For more information about the campaign and free urban forestry events in Houston visit NuestrosEspaciosVerdes.org.