13 DECEMBER 2016
Kirksey Architecture Celebrates 30th Year of Planting Trees for Houston Area
This year marked a special milestone as Kirksey celebrated our 30th year of planting trees in honor of our clients. On Saturday, December 10th, the firm gathered to plant 330 trees at Memorial Park. For us, this year marks more than 10,000 trees planted throughout the Houston area, proving our commitment to sustainability and the local community is as strong as ever.
Kirksey’s annual tree planting tradition continues to inspire others and helps make the city a little more sustainable, one tree at a time. Averaging around 300-400 trees planted per year, Kirksey has helped offset 224 tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the last 30 years — an amount that would offset the charging of 64,553 iPhones for one year!
The decision to start planting trees wasn’t necessarily planned. Early on, we gave trees to our clients as a sustainable holiday gift, but quickly learned most people didn’t have the means or knowledge to adequately care for the trees — whether it be irrigation methods or knowing the ideal month for planting.
“We decided it would be better if we planted trees in our clients’ honor instead,” said John Kirksey, founder of Kirksey Architecture and the visionary behind the annual tradition. “This way, our entire firm became involved in the process — along with their family members and friends. Every year, it is inspiring to see other people become involved. It’s contagious. People look forward to it.”
To celebrate this milestone 30th year, Kirksey planted our 10,000th tree in Memorial Park, a strategic decision due to two reasons: to help benefit the park’s master plan and because the park has the necessary irrigation required for the trees’ survival. One of the largest and most visionary urban park projects currently underway in the nation, Memorial Park Conservancy aims to add more than 30 miles of trails for hiking, biking, running and equestrian use, and expand and connect parts of the park that are currently disconnected, according to the master plan published on Memorial Park’s website.
Kirksey’s tree planting took place near the swimming pool and fitness center along Haskell Street. The new trees will serve as a sound buffer for the residential neighborhoods across the street. The trees were provided by Jon Seipel with Bill Bownds Nursery, who has been working with Kirksey’s tree planting effort from the very start.
The recent droughts and damage wrought by Hurricane Ike in 2008 negatively impacted a significant portion of the forest community within the park. The goal to develop a resilient plan for restoration became the first priority, and Kirksey is honored to help with the restoration effort.
Despite the cold weather, Kirksey employees, families, and friends gathered early Saturday morning to break ground on the annual tradition. Within a few short hours, all 330 trees were planted.
“Continuing our tradition of planting trees and giving back to our community in this way is all the more rewarding when you can see the fruits of your labor. Planting these trees — continuing to beautify Memorial Park — helps to fully restore the park to its full potential,” said Janis Brackett, Community Team Leader at Kirksey. “We are glad to give back to our community in a direct and sustainable way. Thirty years is quite an achievement, and Kirksey will continue planting trees in honor of our clients for as long as we can.”