Complete coverage of Texas' record heat wave of 2011

Heat Burns Denton Landscape Project

Loop 288 Landscape Installation barely hangs on

By Sara Story
|  Thursday, Aug 4, 2011  |  Updated 10:43 AM CDT
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The brutal Texas heat is taking a toll on the $200,000 landscaping project at Loop 288 in Denton.

Sara Story, NBCDFW.com

The brutal Texas heat is taking a toll on the $200,000 landscaping project at Loop 288 in Denton.

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The heat has scorched a massive landscape project in Denton, threatening hundreds of trees and bushes.

The project on Loop 288 cost nearly $200,000 and was installed just before summer.

"What you first notice is the dead trees," Denton resident Mark Baggett said.

"I think it's been frustrating for everybody the way the project has gone so far," said Aimee Bissett, Keep Denton Beautiful Program manager.

The organization received a $155,000 grant from the Texas Department of Transportation to install landscaping along the loop.

"About three or four years ago, it was a big grove of Post Oak trees, and that was mostly cleared for new retail development, so we lost a lot of the natural landscape out there," Bissett said.

Bissett said TxDOT was in charge of the project. It started planting the trees and bushes in March and were done by mid-May.

"Our feedback to them was, we would like for them to wait until the fall to install the project," Bissett said. "We had a hot summer, and it came on early."

The heat has taken its toll on the plants, because there is minimal irrigation.

"It's definitely a concern for people," Denton resident Kelly Carlile said.

"It angers me. I'm like a lot of people. They are killing some perfectly nice trees that I'd love to have in my front yard," Baggett said.

Despite the heat, TxDOT has already started replacing some of the dead trees.

The state agency is responsible for the maintenance of the project for 90 days. When those 90 days are up, Denton's Parks Department will take over.

"While we will have trouble this summer in terms of heat and drought, when we come out of it, it is going to be a beautiful project," Bissett said.

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