by Betsy Denson
For The Leader
The Lorax would be proud. On a recent Saturday, Toshiba International Corporation (TIC) – a wholly owned subsidiary headquartered in Houston – in partnership with the city of Houston and the non-profit Trees For Houston, planted 120 new trees in Candlelight Park, which was decimated by the 2011 drought.
The loblolly pine, sweet gum and red oak were funded by Toshiba and provided by Trees For Houston. Randi Koenig, development and communications director of Trees For Houston, explained that the trees were chosen for their drought resistance and were clustered together to create a reforestation project.
“This reduces mowing for the city and allows for the park to have a more forested look like it did before,” she said.
Candlelight Park was selected by TIC for replanting because it was on a city list of parks that had lost 40 percent or more of its trees.
TIC is also covering the cost for Trees For Houston to water the new trees weekly for two years to ensure their growth.
Toshiba employees made it a family affair and many brought their kids along to help in the project. Children as young as 2 were active participants. “It’s a good time and also great team building,” said Marilyn Sugg, senior environmental & sustainability specialist for TIC. “We come out every October to plant somewhere in recognition of TIC’s Environmental Awareness month.”
By the year 2025 when the Toshiba Group celebrates its 150th Anniversary, the company will have planted 1.5 million trees around the world to combat global warming and conserve biodiversity.
Trees For Houston, which also works with Bank of America, Devon Energy and Marathon Oil, among other companies, is grateful for its continued relationship with TIC. “Toshiba has been a long time supporter of Trees For Houston,” said Koenig. “We depend greatly on corporations like them who are dedicated to helping our environment so we can continue to fulfill our mission.”
“A big thanks is also due to City Forester Victor Cordova,” said Trees For Houston Executive Director Barry Ward. “He’s a good guy who loves trees. Without his effort in the approval process, none of this would be possible.”