RETREET readies for second year planting trees in neighborhoods hit by 2015 tornado

RETREET readies for second year planting trees in neighborhoods hit by 2015 tornado

ROWLETT, Tx. -- For the second year in a row, the non-profit RETREET will plant trees in neighborhoods of Rowlett and Garland hit by the December 26th 2015 tornado. 

Connie and Pete Moss have called Rowlett home since 1986.

"It's incredible how much it's changed," said Connie. There's very few original owners around." 

They lived through the city's biggest change the day after Christmas in 2015.  

"We went downstairs in to a little tiny bathroom, and that's where we sat while it was going on," said Pete.  

The Moss's consider themselves lucky the tornado largely spared their home. But their yard and the block never looked the same.   

"Everything was lowered!" said Connie. "The sky was there where it hadn't been because there was no tree cover."

That started to change last December with the help of 200 volunteers and a local non-profit.  

"We planted 245 trees at 137 home sites and that work happened in 5 hours," said Grady McGahan, Executive Director of RETREET

The organization makes multi-year commitments to plant trees in areas stripped of nature by natural disasters. The group is supported by Texas Trees Foundation, and the cities of Garland and Rowlett.

"Every 15 minutes, you know, a dozen trees are going into the ground in a community like that" said McGahan. "Its really an incredible impact to watch happen."

The Mosses got a Shumard Oak last year which brightened their yard and their spirits. 

14.11 I'm thrilled with it," said Connie. "We needed a lot, and this is a nice morale booster."

RETREET will return to Rowlett and Garland on from December 8th through 10th to plant another 100 trees. One of those will go to the Moss's to mark another year of growth. 

If you're interested in finding out more information about RETREET, volunteering, or signing up for their next round of planting, visit their Facebook Page. 

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