<i>Volunteers Keep Tulsa America’s Most Beautiful City </i>

CITY VOLUNTEERS: Firefighter Justin Blu Haddock plants trees at Fire Station Number 2 in Tulsa. We thank all the volunteers in our great city.

Courtesy Up With Trees

I think Tulsa is America’s most beautiful city. There are a lot of people working to restore pride in our neighborhoods, parks and schools.

Teaming with High School senior classes at all nine of Tulsa’s High Schools is one initiative we are undertaking to help restore that image and designation. The Mayor’s High School Beautification Project is a great way for these students to have the opportunity to take ownership and create a legacy, which will last for many years. Tulsa area Wal-Mart stores has generously provided each senior class with $500.00 in funding to complete their projects.

After completing the projects, the students “will” them to the junior class. That class is then responsible for upkeep and expansion of the project as they become seniors the following year. This creates real sustainability and, looking to the future, some of the schools are now creating three-year goals.

The exciting thing about this simple project is to see the students create a lasting “footprint” on their community. It also sets an example for the next class to maintain and even expand on their work.

Senior classes from all nine high schools completed their first Beautification Projects in 2007. For their efforts, I was honored to accept the Youth Group Award in the Keep Oklahoma Beautiful statewide environmental excellence competition on their behalf.
The projects are centered on the grounds of the high schools and consist of landscaping and tree planting. The Up With Trees organization assisted on tree plantings and those count toward our goal established with ReGreen Tulsa to re-plant trees following the disastrous December 2007 ice storm.

The goal of ReGreen Tulsa is to plant 20,000 trees by December 2010 on both private and public sites. Our efforts are focused on the two areas most devastated by the ice storm, neighborhoods and parks. Working with the Up With Trees organization, we include education programs on how to plant trees so that they will thrive in Tulsa soils and also how to care for them so that they survive and thrive in our climate.

If you would like to be a part of the effort, either through an organized planting or through one of Tulsa’s many faith-based or non-profit groups, go to www.regreentulsa.org. You will find a spring planting schedule and other information about the program.

It is everyone’s responsibility to keep our city beautiful and an easy way to do that is to not litter, to pick up litter when you see it and educate others as to what litter does to our beautiful city. Together, we can make sure Tulsa retains her beauty for generations to come.

Updated 03-02-2009

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