By Erik Onstott
The Orange Leader
Southeast Texas homeowners who lost trees to Hurricane Rita will soon get assistance restoring some of that lost greenery.
Starting today, homeowners in six Southeast Texas counties may register with Operation Green Streets. The program, a project of the Texas Forest Service funded by the U.S. Forest Service, has been under way since July of last year. It involves pruning and clearing out damaged trees in the counties hard-hit by Hurricane Rita, as well as planting new trees on public and private properties in the area.
Homeowners who live within the city limits of incorporated cities in Orange, Jefferson, Hardin, Tyler, Newton and Jasper counties are eligible to have one tree planted in their yards under the program. Interested people may sign up via the Internet, telephone, or via postcards to be distributed in the area.
The registration period starting today is for the first Green Streets Day on Nov. 10; the deadline to register for this day is Oct. 5. The second and final Green Streets Day is on Feb. 9, 2008. Registration for the second Green Streets Day begins Nov. 1, with a deadline of Jan. 11, 2008.
Homeowners who sign up for the program must pledge to water the tree once a week for two years, said Karen Woodard of the Texas Forest Service.
“You can sign up for either day, but there will only be one tree per homeowner allowed,” she said.
Homeowners will also be required to show valid identification the day of the event, and the tree must be planted in the homeowner’s front yard.
The Texas Forest Service, assisted by volunteers from various organizations, will distribute the trees from 13 sites throughout the six counties. Homeowners may choose the site closest to their homes — even if that site is in a different county — if they register via phone or the web; otherwise, they must pick up their tree in a designated site for their respective counties.
By Erik Onstott
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