RETREET BLOG

RETREET is a kaleidoscopic group of bicycle and tree enthusiasts with strong backs, sharp minds, and big hearts who volunteer to replant communities whose trees have been lost to natural disaster.


 
ROWLETT RETREET II
December 8th-10th, 2017

On Saturday, December 9th, 2017, 88 volunteers from 4 different states and Mexico, including representatives from our partners Team Depot and Lush Cosmetics, planted 87 trees for 44 families at home sites in Rowlett and Garland, TX, in the wake of a devastating EF4 tornado that struck on December 26, 2015. It was our second planting in these cities alongside Texas Trees Foundation and Keep Rowlett Beautiful in as many years—a strong showing of our community and our commitment to completing the job. This year, we were excited to welcome the financial support of both City of Rowlett and City of Garland, who each contributed $10,000 to our continued efforts in their neighborhoods.

 ROWLETT RETREET II PLANTING GROUP

ROWLETT RETREET II PLANTING GROUP

RETREETers arrived from Los Angeles and Austin to help our staff deliver supplies and materials to home sites on Friday, the 8th. A welcome dinner followed at Kalachandji's, a gourmet vegetarian restaurant and long-time favorite of our executive director. There, most RETREETers were oriented to the weekend's events and offered an opportunity to catch up and make new friends.

After a quick stop at Lakewood Brewing Company, a stalwart sponsor who donated proceeds from a raffle held during the launch party of their 2017 Bourbon Barrel Temptress to our efforts in Garland, RETREETers spent the remainder of the night playing board games and catching up at The Urban Cloud, our live/work space in Dallas, TX.

 THE MAYOR OF ROWLETT ADDRESSES VOLUNTEERS

THE MAYOR OF ROWLETT ADDRESSES VOLUNTEERS

The next morning, the assembled crowd was greeted by the mayor of Rowlett and several city council members, all of whom addressed the volunteers. The City of Rowlett even proclaimed December 9th the official arbor day of Rowlett for 2017!

After a tree planting demonstration from our partners Texas Trees Foundation, 9 groups of volunteers were sent to home sites throughout the area, where they planted trees for those affected by the tornado that struck almost 2 years earlier. Many hands make light work!

 A GROUP OF VOLUNTEERS PLANTS A TREE IN ROWLETT

A GROUP OF VOLUNTEERS PLANTS A TREE IN ROWLETT

Work started at 11:00am and lasted until about 3:00pm, when the last group returned. All trees and tools were accounted for and the core group returned to Dallas to share dinner and stories from the day.

 A JOB WELL DONE!

A JOB WELL DONE!

That evening, an amazing meal was served at The Urban Cloud by Kitchen, a new restaurant in East Dallas. Chef Scott Jones even came by to deliver the delicious food himself—a heaping helping of brisket, biscuits, mac & cheese, potato salad, and cowboy beans. A top-notch selection of beers was provided by Lakewood Brewing Company. It was a hearty and satisfying way to end an impactful day.

 DINNER AT THE URBAN CLOUD WITH CHEF SCOTT JONES

DINNER AT THE URBAN CLOUD WITH CHEF SCOTT JONES

On Sunday, most RETREETers did their own thing. Several joined new and old local friends for brunch, and others relaxed at The Urban Cloud and discussed the future of RETREET. That evening, everyone reconvened for Stone Soup with Artist Sustainability Project. They were given a presentation about the intersection of art, environment, and cooking, and how all three could be conjoined to create a vibrant community.

 STONE SOUP WITH THE ARTIST SUSTAINABILITY PROJECT

STONE SOUP WITH THE ARTIST SUSTAINABILITY PROJECT

ROWLETT RETREET II was a fantastic way to end our 6th year. It was also the last RETREET of the current era, as big changes are planned for 2018. Bigger, faster, better, stronger!

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