***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 9, 2018
Free Native Trees Available for Residents of Port Aransas Affected by Hurricane Harvey
WHO: RETREET (www.retreet.org)
WHAT: Port Aransas RETREET (www.retreet.org/portaransas)
WHERE: Port Aransas, TX
WHEN: Request trees beginning September 9, 2018, with planting to take place November 3, 2018
On November 3, 2018, a coalition of regional and national partners will lead volunteers in
planting up to 150 native 15-gallon trees, free of charge, at the homes of residents of Port Aransas
affected by Hurricane Harvey. Only the owner of an impacted property may ask for trees and requests
must be submitted online through RETREET’s website (www.retreet.org/portaransas). Representatives
of RETREET and its partners will work with those who submit requests to determine the best planting
locations at each home site, and volunteers from all over the US will travel to Port Aransas to join
locals in planting the trees.
Port Aransas RETREET will address an often-overlooked part of the recovery process. Trees are
destroyed alongside infrastructure and housing in every disaster. While bringing life back to an area
produces an immense psychological impact by making unfamiliar, decimated landscapes feel like
home again, there are almost no resources available to do this unique work. Most people struggling
through the recovery process do not have time, energy, or funds required to replace their lost trees
and, furthermore, do not know which trees should be planted where, or when is best to do so. Of
everything lost, mature trees are what will take the longest to replace.
“It’s been a long journey back. RETREET’s volunteers and trees helped my community fill voids
left by the devastation and bring smiles as we watch them grow – a symbol that life is returning and
this will be a great place to live again,” said Rebecca Kasbaum, a resident of Moore, OK, pointing out
the impact RETREET’s work has had in her community following an EF5 tornado that devasted her
town on May 20, 2013.
Major funding for Port Aransas RETREET is generously provided by Keep America Beautiful
through their Community Restoration and Resiliency Fund, as well as by The Home Depot Foundation.
Additional support comes from Keep Texas Beautiful, Keep Port Aransas Beautiful, Huwa Enterprises,
and EY. Port Aransas RETREET will be a major environmental and infrastructural investment that will
leave a legacy for generations to come. These trees, which serve as powerful symbols of hope, will
reestablish the environmental identity of Port Aransas, providing shade for islanders and habitat for
birds and other wildlife. RETREET intends to spread its programs to other communities in the area
rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey, and is committed to hosting numerous plantings over the next
Inquiries about Port Aransas RETREET or future events and offers of support or participation
can be submitted to RETREET through their website (www.retreet.org).
RETREET redefines disaster relief by engaging communities to replant lost trees. To date, our
programs have brought 5,154 trees to thousands of families recovering from natural disasters in 16
different communities across North America. There is no other agency focused on this unique,
important, and underrepresented part of the recovery process. As such, RETREET has become the
national authority in this work.
Grady McGahan, Executive Director, RETREET
Available for interviews
Colleen Simpson, Nature Preserve Manager, City of Port Aransas
Available for interviews