Saving Denton's Tree Canopy - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Saving Denton's Tree Canopy

Denton leaders want to purchase land to save trees



    The City of Denton is working on plans to keep their booming development from destroying too much of the area's natural resources like trees. (Published Friday, Oct. 26, 2012)

    City leaders say the tree canopy in Denton is smaller than the national standard, and they want to buy property to save trees.

    Denton wants to create more spaces like the park around Donald Welch's home.

    Welch said the trees around his home have kept him planted in his community for more than 12 years.

    "This looked so nice, I couldn't resist it," he said. "My wife and I can come out in the mornings and drink coffee and watch the squirrels or whatever animals are running around; same thing in the evenings."

    But creating such park spaces is challenge in a city where development often overshadows trees. Denton's urban forester, Angie Kralik, said the city's tree canopy is 19 percent.

    The national standard is 30 percent or more.

    "It is not necessarily a negative impact at this point," she said. "We certainly don't want to go below that point."

    Kralik said the city hopes to strike a balance between nature and urban growth.

    Denton is looking at ways to save the resource, such as planting new trees and buying private property that will be protected from development.

    The land would be purchased with money from the city's tree fund. Developers must pay a fee when they cut down certain trees, with the money going into the tree fund.

    "We have spent very little of it," Kralik said.

    The City Council may appoint a citizen's committee to help identify land that will be purchased to save trees. Denton residents who are interested in such a committee should contact their City Council representative.