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PRESS RELEASE

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NCTCOG Provides $1.6M to Advance Environmental Stewardship

Private help being sought to continue legacy of environmentally minded planner

May 9, 2016 (Arlington, Texas) – One tree can make your home more beautiful and eventually, as it grows, more energy efficient. Ask your neighbors to plant trees in their yards, and pretty soon, your neighborhood will be transformed.

The Environmental Stewardship Program, an initiative established in April by the Regional Transportation Council, seeks to extend this concept region-wide, involving residents and businesses in an endeavor to improve the quality of life for all of North Texas.

 

The RTC has set aside $1.6 million to begin the stewardship program and is seeking help from the private sector to raise an additional $1.6 million. The program would fund wetlands, tree planting and environmental stewardship efforts in North Texas, a region where ten counties are in nonattainment for ozone pollution. This fact means transportation planners must balance environmental concerns with mobility issues when pursuing improvements to the transportation system. 

 

The resulting $3.2 million is to serve as a reminder of the North Texas Tollway Authority’s $3.2 billion payment for the right to build and maintain Sam Rayburn Tollway, a decision that led to the establishment of the Regional Toll Revenue initiative. Since the introduction of the RTR initiative, many key multimodal projects, including the Denton County Transportation Authority’s A-train, have been funded throughout Dallas-Fort Worth.

 

The RTR account would be drawn on again to pay the public investment in these environmental stewardship projects.

 

The initial projects are:

  • Engineering for Southwest Water Gardens in Dallas, a project that could enhance flood control along the old Trinity River channel while providing a public amenity.
  • Trees for the Neighbor Woods Program, a partnership with the Texas Trees Foundation to enhance the tree canopy in Dallas.
  • Effort to plant more trees in the Lancaster/Hemphill-Lamar corridor in Fort Worth, thereby easing the potential heat-island effects of urban development.
  • Engineering assistance for wetland design at Lake Worth.
  • A regional education campaign for the Environmental Stewardship Program.
  • A regional map-based tree inventory to be developed by NCTCOG and available for public use.

The public can assist in this effort by taking a short survey seeking information on priorities and potential funding opportunities. The survey is available at www.surveymonkey.com/r/NCTCOGStewardship.

 

This effort will continue the legacy of the late Chris Anderson, a transportation planner who sought to bring multiple partners together to advance environmental stewardship.

 

In addition to his work for seven years with NCTCOG, Anderson spent time with North Texas Tollway Authority and the Texas Department of Transportation during a long, distinguished career in regional transportation. Both agencies would be commemorated through this program for their efforts to enhance the environment through transportation projects.

 

With the help of the private sector, this program can become a long-term tribute to the partnerships that have improved regional mobility and continue the legacy of a planner with a true passion for environmental stewardship.


 

About the North Central Texas Council of Governments:

NCTCOG is a voluntary association of local governments established in 1966 to assist local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit and coordinating for sound regional development. NCTCOG's purpose is to strengthen both the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate unnecessary duplication and make joint decisions.

NCTCOG serves a 16-county region of North Central Texas, which is centered on the two urban centers of Dallas and Fort Worth. Currently, NCTCOG has 238 member governments including
16 counties, 169 cities, 22 school districts and 31 special districts. For more information on the
NCTCOG Transportation Department, visit  www.nctcog.org/trans.

For more news from the NCTCOG Transportation Department, visit www.nctcog.org/trans/outreach/media.

 

      About the Regional Transportation Council:

The Regional Transportation Council (RTC) of the North Central Texas Council of Governments has served as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for regional transportation planning in the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 1974. The MPO works in cooperation with the region’s transportation providers to address the complex transportation needs of the rapidly growing metropolitan area. The Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area includes Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant and Wise counties. The RTC’s 44 members include local elected or appointed officials from the metropolitan area and representatives from each of the area’s transportation providers.

 

      Contact:

Amanda Wilson (817) 695-9284, awilson@nctcog.org

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5/9/2016  03/17/2009 JS

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