A new Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) project has begun for the city of Plano. Two large medians located at Preston Road and Legacy Drive will soon be getting a makeover with new trees, native grass and new irrigation. 

TXDOT is planning to add 96 trees on the north side of Preston Road, and 104 trees on the south side of Legacy Drive. The renovation has been started, and the project is expected to be complete by December of this year. 

Some of the trees to keep an eye out for include cedar elm, southern magnolia, red maple and many more. The new plants will not only offer shade and shelter for native species, but will also create a new scenic area for residents to look forward to. Though it’s not all about the look, the new trees will positively impact the environment as well. 

It is not new information that trees improve air quality, but many do not know the cooling effects trees provide. They absorb and release water through evapotranspiration which assists in the cooling process. Trees planted in medians can also help with lowering greenhouse gasses that are emitted from cars by reducing production of gas.

According to the City of Dallas Urban Forest Advisory Committee, trees planted in medians will help reduce Dallas’ urban heat island, which occurs when large concrete areas are significantly hotter than natural areas. These heat islands can cause numerous issues for residents, such as impaired water quality, increased air pollutants and physical heat discomfort. 

The Urban Forest Advisory Committee encourages cities to plant trees in medians to prevent heat islands and make neighborhoods cooler, all while adding to the beauty of nature. 

These new trees in Plano will make the city even more attractive and will aid in cooling residents, even in Texas’ hottest months.