Galveston residents weigh in on million-dollar plan to replace trees killed by Ike

August 20, 2012 3:50:06 PM PDT
It's been nearly four years since Hurricane Ike crashed into the Texas Gulf Coast with its category 4 winds and devastating storm surge. Galveston is still trying to recover, especially when it comes to the trees killed by the salt water Ike dumped on them.

On Galveston's gateway to the Gulf, there are sparsely-landscaped blocks with a few palm trees, and where stately live oaks once shaded hot pavement, there is only heat and sunlight.

Bit by bit, private foundations and donations have restored what will be the shade trees on Broadway in generations to come, but the job is larger than what individual groups can do.

"Our first block onto Broadway from the overpass has two palms and six light poles," said Priscilla Files with Galveston Tree Conservancy. "Welcome to Galveston. Welcome to paradise island."

In all, 44 blocks are in need of replanting. The city of Galveston is considering whether to budget $1 million in public money to the replanting, taken from local sales tax revenue.

For the next 60 days, the public can comment on the issue at council meetings and by writing to the city manager, Michael Kovacs. The city will decide later whether to approve the funding.