Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, the first public all-girls school in the state, located in a key area of development in the City of Dallas, now has new trees ranging from apple to bur oak – planted by students, teachers & volunteers.
Volunteers from Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA), staff of the Texas Trees Foundation, and volunteer students and teachers dug in the dirt at Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership Academy – they worked together to plant 40 trees around campus. The event was led by the Texas Trees Foundation and its Cool Schools program which aims to grow appreciation for the natural environment through the creation of outdoor experiential learning and play.
During the planting, employees of TIAA teamed up with staff from Texas Trees Foundation to install previously potted trees around campus, while receiving guidance and education on the benefits of trees and urban forestry. As a Cool School Neighborhood Park, Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School received a tree planting and is set to receive a new outdoor classroom and custom seating.
TIAA, dedicated to its nonprofit heritage and improving the environment, made this tree planting possible. TIAA is a mission-based organization fundamentally focused on helping participants retire securely and committed to having a positive impact on society. Volunteer help from partners such as TIAA who are committed to sustainability is essential to the success of tree plantings in the community, and development of outdoor learning spaces.
“Our longstanding collaboration with Dallas ISD is central to the success of the Cool Schools program,” says Samantha Bradley, Manager at Texas Trees Foundation. “And we are grateful to TIAA for their shared commitment to increased outdoor education and establishing roots in a key area of development for the City of Dallas.”
Launched in 2015, Texas Trees Foundation’s Cool Schools program is specifically designed to provide green strategies at identified Dallas ISD schools. In partnership with local funders and supporters, the Cool Schools program works to plant trees at Dallas ISD schools to increase the local tree canopy to 30%. As of 2019, the average tree canopy around Dallas ISD schools was 7% – making for hotter play and learning areas for students.
“Our students learned so much today about tree planting. We are pleased to have these beautiful new trees added to our campus. Urban forestry is an important initiative for the city of Dallas & its schools. We appreciate this partnership with Texas Trees Foundation,” said Principal Yvonne Rojas.
Trees cool the surfaces of its surrounding environment through shading and offers additional ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, air pollution removal, energy savings, and stormwater savings. The benefits of tree planting can be as high as 15°F of cooling in some areas on hot summer days.