For Corpus Christi Mayor Paulette M. Guajardo, improving the city is personal. Guajardo was born and raised in Corpus Christi, studied at Del Mar College, and owned a small business in the city by the Sea. Now, as mayor, she sees trees as a gift for future generations.
The city is partnering with Vistra’s flagship retail electricity brand, TXU Energy, on the new tree-planting initiative, CommuniTree-CC.
Over the next five years, TXU Energy will cover the costs of planting nearly 200 trees in city parks and shared spaces.
“CommuniTree Corpus Christi aims to plant hundreds of trees across our city, not only to beautify our neighborhoods but also to enhance our quality of life,” said Guajardo.
The partnership between TXU Energy and the City of Corpus Christi provides power to all city-owned buildings and facilities while delivering significant rebates for developing the urban tree canopy.
Through its partnership with the Texas Trees Foundation, TXU Energy will provide consultation on the selection and planting locations for the trees, including analysis of where plantings could reduce the urban heat island effect – especially in underserved neighborhoods.
Phase one of the project focuses on the Hans Suter Wildlife Refuge. The city is revitalizing the heavily used park, planting over 80 trees to replace those lost to an invasive species.
“One of the things that we focus on at the Texas Trees Foundation is the intersection of trees, health, and green infrastructure,” said Janette Monear, president of the Texas Trees Foundation. “We know that the cities with trees and more tree canopy are healthier in many ways.”
Besides the reduction of noise pollution, reduction of stormwater runoff, and soil erosion, research shows trees are healing. A person who looks at trees after surgery has fewer post-operative complications and is out of the hospital a day early.
For Mayor Guajardo, all that adds up to a win for the City of Corpus Christi. CommuniTree-CC builds on efforts to plant more trees downtown and increase shade cover at local parks. It’s a vision for a healthier, happier city, boosted by a powerful partnership with TXU Energy.