On a chilly and wet Saturday morning in Southeast Houston, more than 40 Apache volunteers arrived at Wilson Memorial Park armed with coffee, gloves, shovels and smiles, ready to begin the work at hand. Joined by government officials and other community leaders, the volunteers planted over 1,000 trees donated by the Apache Tree Grant Program to the City of Houston.
“We know that Houston needs a decent-sized quantity of trees, and Apache has never denied whatever quantity we’ve requested,” said Jeremy Burkes, city forester at Houston Parks and Recreation. “Trees provide so many benefits to urban areas, especially over the summer when we experience heat waves, or by ensuring parks are insulated from freeways and can provide a true escape from the city.”
Since 2005, the Apache Tree Grant Program has donated more than 450,000 trees to the Greater Houston area as part of a national program through which the company has donated more than 5 million trees. Saturday’s event highlighted the importance of greenery in urban areas, with Apache Executive Vice President of Operations Clay Bretches speaking about the company’s focus on tree donations as a part of its greater commitment to environmental stewardship.
“Apache is celebrating 70 years of operating responsibly and sustainably since its founding in 1954, all while ensuring we meet rising global demand for oil and gas,” Bretches said. “We are honored to make Houston an even more beautiful city by helping enhance parks, provide much needed shade and improve outdoor spaces for families to enjoy.”
Volunteers were eager to begin planting trees, spending hours shoveling dirt and mud, digging holes, adding mulch, and making sure the seedlings were firmly planted in the ground.
“Working alongside volunteers to plant the 1,000 trees Apache donated was both exciting and impactful,” said Ronald K., an advisor with Apache’s Environmental, Health and Safety team. “All the trees planted were native species and well-suited for this park. I am impressed by our longstanding commitment to environmental stewardship and the sheer number of trees donated to Houston – it’s a terrific initiative that benefits all of us.”
To learn more about the Apache Tree Grant Program, visit www.apachelovestrees.com.