Al Roker, Today Show highlight KXAN, Treefolks celebrating Earth Day

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — KXAN teamed up with the nonprofit Treefolks to celebrate Earth Day by donating trees and helping plant them for an Austin couple.

Ryan and Reyna Myers lost two trees at their East Austin house during the historic February winter storms.

Thursday the trees were replaced with two new ones. KXAN meteorologist Kristen Currie was there, and brought the tree planting live to viewers on the 3rd Hour of TODAY.

“We realized hey, we’ve got some trees, let’s go help replant them,” said Treefolks Executive Director Andrew Smiley.

Smiley said in the past 30 years Treefolks has planted three million trees in Central Texas. They’re aiming to plant another million in the next five years.

“Trees provide shade and help cool the air, which is really important for the heat island effect here in Austin,” Smiley said. “Trees also generate oxygen that obviously we need to breathe. Trees create habitat for wildlife. Trees also help intercept floodwaters and even purify our water. Trees are really vital for our entire ecosystem,” Smiley said.

While many homeowners feared the February storm would wipe out all the trees in their backyards, Smiley said they’re finding most trees, particularly natives, survived.

Treefolks has more than a thousand volunteers working to plant trees in Central Texas.

The nonprofit partners with the City of Austin to offer free trees to Austin residents to work to combat overheating and build tree canopy diversity.

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