The home-finding center for the largest master-planned community in this Fort Bend County boom town includes an eight-story observation tower that reveals a dizzying panorama of rooftops, so close they practically touch.
This is the new growth of Fulshear, a century-old farm community recently pulled into the orbit of Houston, some 30 miles to the east. But as the emerging suburb bursts out of its former identity, there is a push to protect its old growth: the dark and drooping oaks and other mature trees that dot the scrubby prairie here.
This month, Fulshear’s city council formed a committee to develop rules that would prevent the large-scale removal of trees for new houses, shopping centers and roads.
“We want to preserve the small-town charm for generations to come,” said Tajana Mesic, the council member who requested the new regulations. “The trees are part of it.”
Preserving landmark and ecologically important trees has become an urgent theme as the eight-county region goes through a growth spurt. Houston is losing some 2,200 acres in tree cover each year, which trails only New Orleans among 20 U.S. cities surveyed in a federal study on disappearing urban forests. –(December 2015) by Matthew Tresaugue in the Houston onserChronicle.