Skip to main content

Galveston Monthly

Galveston's History Of "Nature's Life Support System"

Jan 04, 2019 12:28PM
In 1900, the residents of Galveston had never heard the term “global warming,” but they were wise folks and did appreciate the value of plants to our health and well being. They did understand that the trees, plants and foliage that were lost to the Great Storm were of immense
value to the Island not only for their beauty but also for their significant impact on the air quality. They knew plants absorbed pollutants, and shaded and shielded homes and inhabitants from the blazing rays of the sun and the torrents of rainstorms.

They understood also the importance of the effect on our ecological system, the cause and effect of vegetation to maintaining the health of the soil and preservation of the landmass itself, the impact and influence on returning birds and wildlife.

Prominent citizens implemented a program of restoration of that lost vegetation by offering, free of charge, saplings, shrubs, bushes and plants to every household. Holes were dug to receive the plants, and the grateful citizens watered and nourished the seedlings, sprouts and sprigs
understanding that they were creating an oasis of defense and shelter against further mayhem of future storms and floods.

Generations of islanders and visitors alike enjoyed the fruit of that forethought and prudent planning. It took a storm of immense destruction to uproot and devastate that undertaking. When Hurricane Ike roared over this island, we finally truly comprehended and appreciated
what our forefathers had accomplished. Once again, the residents of Galveston came together
to confront the disastrous loss of forty thousand trees undertaking the challenge, once faced before, to recreate another oasis, another legacy for our children and grandchildren to enjoy; an endeavor of love with prayers that they may never encounter that damage and
destruction themselves.

With an eye toward that “global warming,” we must promote, encourage and support an attitude of sustenance of these very trees and plants that we have sown and reestablished.