Growth Opportunities: TI Joins City in Tree Venture
100 Plantings to Provide Greenery and Shade Along Campus' Eastern Border
Nov. 2, 2010
Volunteers from UT Dallas, Texas Instruments and the city of Richardson joined forces last month to make the University’s eastern boundary a little greener with the planting of 100 trees along Floyd Road.
The project was part of Richardson’s Tree the Town initiative, a citywide, public-private program organized with the goal of planting 50,000 trees.
The new trees will provide shade along the Floyd Road sidewalk, which is popular for walkers, joggers and cyclists.
TI, a longtime corporate partner of the University, made a gift that provided the trees.
Under the program, the city identifies planting opportunities, and private sponsors fund the trees. The Texas Trees Foundation manages and coordinates the plantings and will maintain and water the trees for the first year, after which the city is responsible.
Upon maturity, the trees will provide additional shade for the Floyd sidewalk, which is used by many in the area as a hike and bike trail. Varieties planted include bald cypress, burr oak, cedar elm, live oak and red oak.
“The Tree the Town event is a great example of investment in a community,” said Tom Weichel, manager of TI’s Richardson fabrication plant (RFAB). “The planting of trees, which provide long-term benefits to a community, are very similar to investments in education or significant capital investments such as a manufacturing plant like the RFAB facility. They provide long-term benefits and payback.”
UT Dallas traces its institutional roots back to TI founders Eugene McDermott, J. Erik Jonsson and Cecil Green. In 1961, the men established the research center that would become UT Dallas, providing North Texas with a highly educated workforce it lacked four decades ago.
UT Dallas volunteers were organized by the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) and by the University’s Office of Student Volunteerism.
“Planting trees is pretty far afield from the sort of advanced technology Texas Instruments is known for producing, and now we’re truly indebted to TI for both,” said Dr. Mark W. Spong, dean of the School of Engineering and Computer Science.