Our Opinion: Group has helped beautify Austin

Published 9:14 am Thursday, May 8, 2014

As Spruce Up Austin celebrates its 25th anniversary, we celebrate the arboreal group of volunteers for their efforts to make Austin a better place.

It’s hard to imagine how one man’s dream can make such a difference to public land in this community, but that’s just what Mike Ruzek did when he decided to gather volunteers and plant trees in 1990. Ruzek was concerned over the city’s tree population after Dutch Elm Disease struck the region. He and many volunteers helped plant dozens of trees during the first and second year of Spruce Up Austin’s existence, and the volunteer organization’s work has paid off.

Spruce Up has planted more than 2,600 trees planted at almost $500,000 in property value. All of it has gone to the city of Austin’s parks and other public places.

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The group’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. We commend the city for giving back to Spruce Up Austin by giving a tree to the group’s planned tree walk along East Side Lake. We are also proud to support Spruce Up Austin through an annual special section highlighting the group’s efforts to plant more trees in the area.

More trees mean a better quality of life and a better environment for all. We thank Spruce Up volunteers for all their hard work and we’re looking forward to what the next 25 years will bring.