The Arbor Day Foundation, USAA, and Texas A&M Forest Service, in cooperation with the City of Rockport’s Parks Department, will give away 750 tree saplings to Aransas County residents from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25 at the Rockport Festival Grounds. A similar giveaway was held last year with much success, despite severe rain, wind and cold.
November through February are the best months for planting in Aransas County, according to the Texas Forest Service’s Bill Green. The saplings to be given away, which include oak, mulberry, olive and other varieties, are suitable to grow in the coastal area.
Additionally, the organizations have donated 80, 15-gallon crape myrtle, bald cypress, burr oak and white oak trees, which will be planted throughout Rockport’s parks.
These efforts are part of the Foundation’s ongoing Community Tree Recovery, a national program underwritten by USAA and Foundation members, which replaces trees in communities throughout the United States affected by natural disasters. The program has held more than 800 events, distributing more than five million trees since its inception in 2012.
Rockport is renowned for its iconic live oak trees and other natural resources. Having taken a direct hit from Hurricane Harvey in 2017, tens of thousands of trees were devastated, many of which provided much-needed shade and nesting sites for hundreds of local and migratory bird species.
“We are extremely grateful to our partners for their generous efforts,” said Rockport Parks & Leisure Services Director Rick Martinez. “Planting and establishing trees in our community is a much needed part of the recovery process.”