Nature in the City - Austin

Sustainability Spotlight: Garza High School

Published 5 May 2023

Today’s sustainability spotlight is shining on Youth Forest Council Intern Cain Ly. For her Community Action Project, Cain engaged with teachers and students at Garza High School this past spring. She organized over 100 volunteers to participate in a series of tree plantings and the creation of a food forest on campus. 


A Grant for Austin's Trees

Published 2 May 2023

Urban Forest Grant logo

Did you know Austin residents can get funding for projects that care for trees in their neighborhoods? They can, through the City’s Urban Forest Grant!  

Applications are due January 1st and July 1st! 

Helping Today’s Trees Survive Tomorrow

Published 24 March 2023

Trees have always been an important part of the character of Austin. We have special trees where we mark important historical events. We love to enjoy the pecans at Barton Springs on a sunny day. We will park half a mile from the store if we can leave our car under a shade tree while we shop. We cannot take our trees for granted. If we want to continue enjoying a healthy urban forest in coming decades, we need to start planning now. Climate forecasts predict significant changes in our average temperatures, rainfall, and major weather events.

Project Spotlight: Roy G. Guerrero Metro Park and Circle Acres Nature Preserve

Published 15 March 2023

Our Urban Forest Grant program was developed to maintain, restore, and replenish our urban forest using development fees accrued via the tree preservation ordinance. Today, we are shining a spotlight on one exemplary project that helps us meet the goal of creating a sustainable, equitable urban forest for all our city’s residents. At Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Metro Park, local non-profit Ecology Action has been working for years to restore a degraded site back to the forest it once was. 

Brownie Troop 250 and the Breathe Green Project

Published 13 March 2023

On April 1, 2010, eleven 7-9 year-old Brownie Girl Scouts planted a landscape near the public right of way at 2701 South Lamar in Austin, Texas which was designed to soak up carbon dioxide and urban heat. The girls learned about planting trees and caring for the environment.

How Does Austin Protect Our Trees?

Published 28 February 2023

Did you know the City of Austin protects trees on public and private property? In 1984, the City of Austin passed one of the first tree protection ordinances in the United States. The City continued its commitment to protecting valuable community trees by passing the Heritage Tree Ordinance in 2010. 

A live oak in a construction site with protection according to ordinance

Explore Austin’s Community Tree Priority Map

Published 16 November 2022

In 2020, the City of Austin's Community Tree Preservation Division released the Community Tree Priority Map. This resource prioritization tool is for everyone to use including city programs, partners, policymakers, Urban Forest Grant applicants, arborists, and more. It provides access to relevant data comparable across Austin’s neighborhoods. For example, tree canopy data helps uncover disparities in historically under-canopied areas.

Guest Post: Austin students examine the Heat Island Effect

Published 10 November 2022

Nature in the City is handing the keys over to local high school students and their teacher today. They worked as teams to compare heat potential in different neighborhoods around Austin. We hope you enjoy seeing their work as much as we have.

Logo for the Cedars International High School