Less than half a century ago what is now the heart of Orange and what is still referred to by many as “the Circle” was a beautiful Forest with towering Pines and majestic Bur and White Oaks.  Children from 28th Street, Ridgemont and Roselawn affectionately called it “The Woods.”  It was an idyllic place to spend time growing up and exploring the world.  Many would meet up there and roam free from the circle to the bayou.

With the passage of time, the beautiful forest was removed making room for commercial endeavors and concrete parking lots; the almighty dollar taking precedent over the environment and the trees came down in the name of progress.

Three municipalities border and converge at this major intersection.  Over the years attempts have been made by Keep Orange County Beautiful the local non-profit affiliate of Keep Texas Beautiful to replenish the trees so beneficial to an environment fraught with carbon dioxide due to high traffic.  Trees absorb these hydrocarbons and replace the air with life supporting oxygen. They reduce runoff by breaking rainfall allowing the water to flow into the earth preventing storm water from carrying pollutants to Adams Bayou and subsequently into the Gulf.  Any municipality wanting to prosper and attract business must be environmentally conscious.  Tree Canopies are tremendously important to a community’s health and welfare. Conservation and Economic Development go hand in hand.

Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) recently takes the environment issue to a new level by planting an assortment of 159 large canopy trees at this major intersection of Hwy 87 and Strickland Dr.  12 – 15 ft tall specimens of Live Oaks, Bald Cypress, Maple, Pine, Birch and various other large canopy trees in 45gallon containers were planted.  It is a generous and noble act to protect, preserve, propagate and plant large canopy trees.  Keep Orange County Beautiful is pleased to recognize TXDOT for this valuable gift with its ensuing environmental benefits and proud to name them KOCB’s “Hometown Beautification Hero.”

For more information on Keep Orange County Beautiful visit our website at www.KOCB.org.