Trees And Inspiration

“One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade.”

--Chinese Proverb

There’s a part of me that loves chaos, change, and making things happen—even if the reason for making those things happen is just to relieve the boredom of routine. This is not always a good way to operate, but, in my experience, it leads to innovation and energy.

It’s why you can enjoy your copy of PRB (or any of our other publications) on your tablet, phone or computer of choice. It’s why you can log in to your Insider account and load your parks to the mobile app or convert your printed programming guide to a digital flip-book or load your bids, RFPs and RFQs to our ParkBids database and so on.

It’s also why, according to my wife, I’m losing my hair.

Apparently, if you run too hard for too long, that is the consequence. Personally, I think it's genetics, but am loathe to argue the point considering she got an “A” in our shared logic class in college and I didn’t—a fact that has haunted me for 18 years.

In my mind, logic is in the eye of the beholder. That’s why I have to tip my hat to the good folk at the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department who decided in 2010 to fix their tree canopy by planting 9,000 trees in their parks despite the “challenge” of the ongoing, earth-baking drought—a phenomenon that lasted for two years.

I can just imagine some of the conversations with stake-holders.

But, despite the apparent fallacy of their decision, it worked and it worked well (83% survival rate) because they dug deep, realized there was never going to be an “optimal” time to make the necessary improvements to their tree canopy and came up with creative solutions. I won’t ruin any more of the story for you, but some of their water conservation and recycling strategies will make you chuckle and, when you realize they are serious, will make you wonder if you should consider the same thing.

And, to all the volunteers who helped with this massive project?

Well, as we mention above, those who come later will thank them for the shade.

I hope this issue of PRB does the same thing for you. We’ve planted a lot of ideas in the following pages—hopefully some of them will take root in your department and provide shade for years to come.

If they do, or if they don’t, let us know how we’re doing. We’re always up for a new challenge.

Till next month…

Rodney J. Auth


Bryan BuchkoComment