Q. Why are there new trees being planted at Bob Woodruff Park South?
A. Good question! In an effort to re-tree parts of Bob Woodruff Park South, Plano Parks and Recreation’s second phase of its reforestation project is underway. This project is a partnership between the City of Plano and the Texas Trees Foundation, and funded by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).
Bob Woodruff South has lost approximately 50 of its majestic trees over the past 10 years, as natural regeneration was not available primarily due to mowing. Because planting was previously unavailable due to lack of irrigation, it became necessary to involve outside partnerships to “re-tree” Bob Woodruff South.
Beautiful Rowlett Creek runs through Bob Woodruff South, creating a natural bottomland hardwood forest in Plano’s Blackland Prairie. As North Central Texas has continued to develop, stormwater (surface water runoff from precipitation in urban areas) is directed to creeks, thereby causing erosion along these waterways. This has led to loss of land and reduced water quality.
To help stabilize the banks of the Rowlett Creek while improving its water quality, a Streamside Management Zone (SMZ) was established along the creek. This purpose of this 50-foot vegetative buffer area is to filter pollutants prior to entering the creek and reduce ambient water temperatures, all of which improves our water quality.
SMZs provide shade for streams, which prevent increases in water temperature that can negatively impact aquatic organisms. SMZs also reduce soil disturbance (erosion) by intercepting rainfall or precipitation. In addition to protecting waterways, SMZs benefit wildlife by providing habitat and travel corridors.
To protect this part of Rowlett Creek, the City of Plano has stopped mowing 50 feet from the edge of the creek. Thanks to the grant provided by NFWF, bare-root seedling trees have been planted in the “no-mow” zone to help establish the SMZ.
Another 150 trees have been planted in Bob Woodruff South to replace those that have been lost over time. Irrigation has also been installed to ensure proper establishment of our new forest. In addition, invasive species have been removed using a mulcher machine in the natural areas to allow for the natural regeneration of native tree species.
A special thank you to the contributors and sponsor of this project, and to the Texas Trees Foundation for raising the funds and coordinating the volunteer tree planting efforts at Bob Woodruff South. I encourage residents to learn more how this project and how it reflects the department goals in our Urban Forest Master Plan.
Do you have a question for our urban forester? Contact Angela Kralik at email@example.com or 972-941-5419.