TreeFolks, Austin Office of Sustainability, Austin Watershed Protection Department, and Travis County are launching the Travis County Floodplain Reforestation Program to restore healthy forest buffers of local rivers and streams in eastern Travis County. Carbon+ credits generated from this project will be sold to the City of Austin to help meet the city’s 2020 carbon neutrality goal. Using funds allocated for carbon offsets to purchase local credits from these riparian plantings keeps the City of Austin’s investments localized while addressing global climate change.
The pilot and program, both operated by TreeFolks, will reforest floodplain on public and private lands. TreeFolks will work with volunteers and professional planting crews to provide free reforestation services to landowners. These services include, for those applicants who choose to participate and are selected, free trees, free planting services, and free consultations.
The tree planting projects will increase canopy cover and diversity in an ecosystem that needs help. The City of Austin Watershed Protection Department recently concluded that diverse wooded corridors along creeks and riparian zones here are rare. The reforestation project also serves to engage local community members with the environment, complementing Austin’s participation in the Biophilic Cities Network and the Children and Nature collaborative, and aligning with citywide green infrastructure efforts. Reforesting Austin’s local stream corridors will create lasting change, both within the city limits and across eastern Travis County floodplains.