Trees for the Blanco

Please note: We are no longer accepting applications for the program.

On May 23rd, 2015, devastation hit Hays County in the form of a flood. The Blanco River surged to more than 10 feet above previous record levels within hours of the 13 inches of rainfall. Hundreds of homes were destroyed and 13 people perished as a direct result. There was extensive deforestation along 61 miles of the Blanco River, including uprooted and destroyed 500-year-old cypress trees. The force of the waters scoured the banks of soil, trees, and wildlife.

TreeFolks, working with Hays County, private landowners, and other stakeholders, developed Trees for the Blanco to help accelerate the recovery of the riverside forest. Under this plan, all owners of private land damaged by the historic flood in Hays County are eligible to receive free reforestation services.

In just four seasons, TreeFolks planted over 200,000 trees along 30 miles of river. Seven percent of the trees went to private parks and sixteen percent went to public parks. This wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of partners and sponsors including Hays County, Impact Austin, the Arbor Day Foundation, Apache, H-E-B, David Weekley Homes, and The Leaning Pear.

The replanting process contributes to the landowner’s personal healing process and to the community overall. The outpour of support from community volunteers is uplifting. Trees give landowners hope as their land returns to a beautiful riparian forest once again. When people plant trees together, community bonds are strengthened, meeting TreeFolks’ mission to empower central Texans through the planting and caring for trees.

By offering sapling trees and planting services, TreeFolks and partners will initiate and accelerate the growth of native riparian forests. Through education materials and consultations, we will empower landowners to oversee their grow zones and long-term health of their waterfront property, increasing the riparian and the community ecosystem’s resilience to recover from future floods and droughts.


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Our Trees for the Blanco program won the 2018 Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center’s John Covert Watson Award for Vision! Click here to read more.