GreenDallas building a greener city. Fri, 27 Mar 2020 23:36:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 62968459 How to Score a Victory with a Micro Quarantine Garden Fri, 27 Mar 2020 23:36:25 +0000 Continue reading


Last week, we had several days of chilly rain. Currently, in Dallas, we are in a mandatory shelter in place. Schools are closed.  Non-essential businesses are closed. But this week, the weather has been extra warm. People are excited to be outside and want to do something. People and families NEED things to do.  In scanning social media, maybe you’ve seen one of the many online articles about Victory Gardens making a comeback. But, what’s a Victory Garden?

Victory Gardens

Here is an explanation of Victory Gardens from

Victory Gardens, also called “war gardens” or “food gardens for defense”, were gardens planted both at private residences and on public land during World War I and World War II to reduce the pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war effort. In addition to indirectly aiding the war effort these gardens were also considered a civil “morale booster” — in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown. These gardens produced up to 41 percent of all the vegetable produce that was consumed in the nation.
-City Bountiful: A Century of Community Gardening in America, Laura Lawson

How come you’ve never heard of something with a cool name like that? That’s because people of a certain age are experiencing their first worldwide catastrophe. COVID 19 has changed our lives, temporarily, and we often look to the past to deal with the present.

photo for a blog about growing microgreens at home

So, are you ready to plow up your backyard and plant corn, squash and tomatoes to feed you, your family and your neighbors? Not everyone is and that’s okay.  There are many reasons to be hesitant such as: disposable income on a new activity, equipment, space, and maybe most important, know how.

That’s where microgardening comes in. Microgarden is just what it sounds like.  It is gardening on a small scale. It allows you to repurpose things, costing you less.  It also is a nice introduction into gardening to build your confidence before you plow up your backyard. Microgardening is also very inclusive.  You can do it regardless of where you live, and you don’t have to be as physically fit as The Rock to do it.

I want to share my foray into microgardening with you. It was fun because I grew microgreens.  Did I make mistakes? Absolutely. But I was still able to grow something in less than a week and eat it. Am I still learning? Of course! I am still trying different methods and I will eventually nail it just like in all the YouTube videos I watched.


photo in a blog about growing microgreens.

Potting soil or seed starting mix.  This is easy to find at a nursery or hardware store. I used these plus a different organic planting mix in a very, very large bag.

photo in a blog about growing microgreens.

Microgreen seeds.  You can use other vegetable seeds like radish, broccoli and/or any leafy green.  If you have these seeds already, use them!

photo in a blog about growing microgreens. Seed starter in a plastic clam shell with a spray bottle of water.

Grow container.  This is where you can get creative. You can use almost ANYTHING. This is where you can upcycle or repurpose the to-go containers you got from the many takeout order you placed to support local restaurants.

Spray bottle filled with water. You need something to gentle water your microseeds in your microgarden. Think of this has your microhose.

Optional: something small and flat to compact the soils and seeds. I used a metal mint box. You can use your hands.

Easy Planting Instructions 

  1. Fill the container with about 2 inches of soil.
  2. Gently shake the container and tap it a few times on the table to settle the soil. Add more soil if needed.
  3. Open the seed pack and heavily sprinkle the seeds all over the soil surface.  Don’t be shy.  These seeds are not practicing social distancing. 
  4. Use your DRY hands or a small, flat object like a small block of wood or the bottom of a metal box to press the seeds into the soil.  The seeds need to make contact and snuggle into the soil.  You can sprinkle a thin layer of soil on top, but you don’t have to.  You want to be able to still see some of the seeds.
  5. Water the seeds with the spray bottle.  Water the entire surface of the container. The soil should feel moist and spongy.  It doesn’t need to be soggy like our yards after a week of rain.
  6. Place your micrograden on a sunny windowsill. If your container has a lid, put it on. This helps make a tiny greenhouse and is super cute. This is helpful when it’s chilly outside. If you don’t have a lid, the seeds will still sprout. 
photo in a blog about growing microgreens.

Step 3. Tap the container to release air. Then, cover the surface with seeds.

photo in a blog about growing microgreens.

Step 4. Press the seeds into the potting media.












Congratulations! You just made your microgarden! Check on your seeds the next day.  If there is a lid, remove it.  If you don’t, you may grow mold.  How do I know this?

photo in a blog about growing microgreens.

It was fixed after putting the container outside for a day to dry. Do you know what this means?  It’s almost a foolproof way to garden!


When Will They Sprout?

When I did my first round of microgreen microgardening, it was cloudy, chilly and rainy. I got sprouts in 4 days. When I did my second round, we had sunny, summertime weather. I got growth in two days. In a week or so, your crop will about 1-2 inches tall. Use scissors to cut the greens.  Keep the seeds in the soil. Use a colander to wash the microgreens under running water, then give them a taste.  Microgreens are crunchy and flavorful.  Different greens have distinct flavors. For example, radish microgreens are spicy. 


photo in a blog about growing microgreens.

I grew something!

Ready to harvest. Smile at your first crop.









Continue to care for your greens.  They will grow back.  Some of the seeds may not have sprouted so they will add to the new growth. Remember to spray water on your greens once or twice a day.  Touch the soil to see if it is damp. If it’s dry, then spray. 

photo in a blog about growing microgreens.

My first two trays plus two more trays. Each tray was planted differently to find the best method.

Macro Reasons for Microgreens

Microgreens are not a meal in themselves, but they are great in salads and as a garnish. They are packed with nutrients. They are easy to grow.  Take up very little space. You can grow them year-round. You don’t need a degree in horticulture to master the micro.

I know I don’t have the thick mat of greens in the YouTube videos.  I will get better yield with the second, third and fiftieth try. This was fun, inexpensive and these can grow in any space.  Give it try and share your victory microgreen microgarden on social media. Tag us at  @GreenDallas, GreenDallasTX on Facebook or at Green Dallas on IG.

#VictoryMicrogarden #GrowAtHome #MircrogreenMicrogarden #MasterTheMicro

Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan open for feedback Wed, 05 Feb 2020 16:00:21 +0000 Continue reading


It’s time to comment on the City of Dallas’ Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan (CECAP). The CECAP will be Dallas’ roadmap for deciding how the city will deal with flooding, air quality, public health, drought and extreme heat through the prism of climate change. 

“Dallas is a healthy, safe and economically vibrant city,” said Mayor Eric Johnson. “But to be a truly resilient city, Dallas must prepare for the effects of climate change.” 

Visitors can offer their opinion on more than 90 draft actions within eight focus areas at, by clicking on the “Forum” tab to decide how Dallas will prepare for climate change. Comments and questions will be moderated during regular business hours between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The draft CECAP is the result of input from thousands of Dallas residents, extensive consideration by internal and external stakeholders, review of existing City plans and identification of best practices. 

In September 2019, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson created the Environment and Sustainability (ENVS) Committee to bring a focus on environmental issues in Dallas, specifically to develop and implement the CECAP and ensure Dallas is a global environmental leader. Councilmember Omar Narvaez (City Council District 6), chairs the Committee, and each meeting over the past several months has included a deep dive into focus areas of CECAP. 

The public comment period for the draft CECAP is open until midnight on March 3, 2020. 

Earth, Plant, green, climate, environmentEarth, Plant, green, climate, environment

Pet Safety Tips for Winter Weather Mon, 11 Nov 2019 23:31:19 +0000 Continue reading


As temperatures plummet to near freezing and North Texas begins to face winter weather advisories, it is critical that pet owners prioritize the safety of their pets. The City requires that all pets have access to warm and dry shelter once the actual or effective temperature reaches 32 degrees.

“What is adequate during our typical 50-degree winter days is not adequate during the freezing weather we are beginning to face now,” said Ed Jamison, director of Dallas Animal Services. “The safest option is to bring your pets indoors when the temperatures drop like this.”

Dallas Animal Services (DAS) suggests that if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet. All pets are at risk during this weather, regardless of size or breed.

“Don’t be fooled by your pet’s fur coat,” continues Jamison, “even winter breeds with thick coats are at risk when temperatures reach freezing, particularly here in Texas where pets are not used to this type of weather.”
If you see a pet that you believe is in distress or is left outdoors in temperatures 32 degrees or below without shelter, please call 3-1-1 to make a report.

“We take the safety of pets in Dallas very seriously,” said Ann Barnes, DAS manger III – field & medical. However, don’t assume that any pet outside is in danger or without shelter. We ask that residents do their best to determine whether other pet owners have set up adequate outdoor shelter prior to calling to 3-1-1, because it allows officers to focus their attention on pets in dire need.”
Shelter isn’t the only important consideration during cold spells. To keep your pets healthy and happy during cold weather, the ASPCA recommends:

1. Towel dry your pet as soon as you come inside on cold and wet days to keep pets comfortable and to avoid skin issues.
2. Avoid shaving your pet’s fur short in winter months as this decreases their ability to stay warm.
3. Keep walks short during wet or icy days and consider massaging petroleum jelly into their paws before leaving the house to provide extra protection. Booties are another great option!
4. Pavement and cement are very cold in the winter, so walking on grass may be a more comfortable option.
5. Remember that antifreeze and many chemicals used to melt ice are toxic to pets and should be avoided when possible or kept out of reach.
6. Never leave a pet in a car during cold spells. Cars can act as refrigerators and can cause pets to freeze to death or experience hypothermia.

cats, cold, winter, shelter, pets

Seeking Input from Local Residents and Businesses on Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan Mon, 16 Sep 2019 14:22:17 +0000 Continue reading


Public safety is the top priority for the City of Dallas and the purpose of the Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan (CECAP) is to inform how Dallas can become a healthier, cleaner and better city.

The City of Dallas is seeking public input. The City’s Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability (DEQS) will begin a second round of community meetings to gather feedback from residents and businesses to help shape its first Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan (CECAP).

Six public meetings, with the first scheduled for Sept. 17 and ending on Oct. 3, are scheduled to give residents an opportunity to provide their input on CECAP. “Because City operations form such a small part of our overall carbon footprint in Dallas, we have to collaborate with our residents and businesses to find innovative ways to reduce our community-wide emissions, prepare for a changing climate and enhance quality of life through equitable and sustainable planning of our community’s environmental assets,” James McGuire, Director of the Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability, explained.

The City of Dallas is working with AECOM, a global infrastructure firm, to develop this plan. Previously, AECOM supported development of the Resilient Dallas Strategy in collaboration with 100 Resilient Cities. The firm also supports the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and the World Bank, as well as, over 50 cities around the world with climate action, adaptation and sustainability planning.

Extreme heat, prolonged droughts and other climate-change related impacts can have detrimental effects on a city and the health of its residents. According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, Texas alone could see up to 60 additional days per year of temperatures exceeding 100 degrees if carbon emissions aren’t significantly reduced. When complete, the CECAP plan will focus on reducing the root causes of changing weather and the development of benchmarks and strategies for adapting the City to changing local conditions.

drought, Trinity River, Dallas, water conservation

“The effects of climate change on our cities are becoming more intense every year. We need to collaborate as a society to facilitate meaningful change,” said AECOM Senior Urban Planner Tatum Lau, deputy project manager for the CECAP plan. “It will take the entire community of Dallas to ensure it’s ready to build a safe future and enhance the quality of life for all residents.”

The contract to develop the CECAP plan, which was first approved by the Dallas City Council in January, is expected to be unveiled on Earth Day 2020.  Scheduled public meetings, between 6 to 8 p.m. at locations around the City, will be held to solicit the community’s ideas and goals before the final plan is unveiled. Light snacks and children’s activities will be provided as well as Spanish translation services. The survey will be available at after September 17, 2019 in English and Spanish and will remain open through October 27th.  Community listening events are scheduled at the following dates and locations:


Lakewood Library: 6121 Worth St.


MLK Community Center: 2922 MLK Jr. Blvd.


Bachman Rec Center: 2750 Bachman Dr.


Singing Hills Rec Center: 1901 Crouch Rd.


Dallas Executive Airport: 5303 Challenger Dr.


Timberglen Rec Center: 3810 Timberglen Rd.

*Venues have been selected to enhance community engagement and to cover council districts across the City

Branch Out Dallas returns with a link to Texas Arbor Day Fri, 30 Aug 2019 20:32:11 +0000 Continue reading


Branch Out Dallas, the popular City of Dallas sponsored tree giveaway program, returns this fall timed to coincide with Texas Arbor Day.  The Branch Out Dallas tree giveaway will take place one day after on Saturday, November 2, 2019. Registration for trees opens online at and the registration period is from September 1 – 30, 2019. 

Branch Out Dallas was implemented by the City to increase the overall tree canopy in Dallas by providing residents with a tree for their home, at no cost.  With the spring storms, the City anticipates a strong need to replace trees in neighborhoods across all districts. In addition to the project website,, residents may visit any Dallas Public Library location for more information and for assistance in registering online or they may send questions to

“Trees benefit the environment in so many ways,” said Terry Lowery, Director of Dallas Water Utilities. “They clean the air, filter stormwater and urban runoff, provide shade, and combat the effects of climate change. I’m extremely proud to partner with twelve City departments, as well as Air North Texas and the Texas A & M Forest Service to continue this valuable program at no cost to Dallas residents.”

Branch Out Dallas involves a three-step process: 

  1. Participants sign-up for a free tree by choosing from five Texas hardwood tree species: Shumard oak, Chinquapin oak, Mexican oak, Lacebark elm, or Pecan.
  2. Select from one of six pick-up locations: C. A. Tatum, Jr. Elementary School, June Shelton School and Evaluation Center, Justin F. Kimball High School, The Village Church – Dallas Northway, W. H. Adamson High School, or White Rock Church of Christ.  From the registration data, the City of Dallas orders the trees. 
  3. On Saturday, November 2, pick up your five-gallon tree from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the selected pick-up location.

Branch Out Dallas is limited to Dallas residents. A Dallas Water Utility bill or government-issued identification will be required at the time trees are picked up. It is anticipated that 2,500 trees will be distributed, and instructions on how to plant them will be provided through Branch Out Dallas.

branch out dallas, native trees, dallas, texasbranch out dallas, native, tree, location, pick up

Dallas Wins Climate Leadership Award Tue, 16 Jul 2019 17:34:13 +0000 Continue reading


The City of Dallas was the recipient of the 2019 Mayor’s Climate Protection Award presented at the United States Conference of Mayors’ 87th Annual Meeting (USCM) held in Honolulu, Hawaii. Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson accepted this inspiring award on behalf of the city and the city was also represented at the 2019 Climate Mayor’s Summit held on June 27, prior to the beginning of the USCM.

Celebrating its thirteenth anniversary year, this awards program recognizes cities for their energy and climate protection effort. The winners are selected by an independent panel of judges from a pool of mayoral applicants.

“Dallas has made tremendous strides over the past year in initiating climate planning and adopting a green energy policy that is both cost-conscious and innovative,” said Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson. “It is humbling to be recognized along with other cities like Los Angeles and New York, cities with large and diverse populations and geographical assets.”

Dallas Mayor, Mayor Eric Johnson

Photo from Mayor Eric Johnson Facebook Page


The 2019 Climate Mayors Summit delivers two key messages: there is no room for debate, the world is in the middle of a climate emergency. Secondly, the Summit provides a forum for mayors across the U.S. to collaborate and share ideas, policies and practices to address climate change. It also provides a unique opportunity for participants to form partnerships and explore ways to expand solutions and potential.



“Dallas is actively engaged in ways to promote and protect the health, safety, and welfare of its residents.  Children, the elderly and residents in lower income neighborhoods are particularly susceptible to the adverse effect of climate change,” said Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax. “Our City Council has directed staff to complete an equitable and actionable Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan by spring 2020. We are coordinating the plan with the needs of our communities toward a beneficial future for Dallas.”

Help shape the Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan with your input. Sign up for notices for the upcoming Fall meetings and see notes from the first round of public meetings at


Be a Clean Air Champion for Clean Air Action Day Thu, 20 Jun 2019 03:34:00 +0000 Continue reading


At a regional level, ten North Texas counties, including Dallas County, consistently fail to meet federal air quality standards for ground level ozone. In 2018, Dallas was ranked 16th in the American Lung Association’s 25 Most Ozone-Polluted Cities. The report estimates 159,749 cases of pediatric asthma, 432,736 cases of adult asthma, 273,449 cases of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and 4,058 of cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General, referred to air pollution as a “silent public health emergency.”  

Children are particularly susceptible to the adverse effects of air quality. Exposure to pollution during early development years can lead to reduced lung capacity. In the U.S., black children are twice as likely as white children to have asthma and with greater severity—experiencing higher-than- average rates of hospitalization, emergency room visits and deaths from asthma.

So, what does this have to do with climate change or the Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan (CECAP)?

If we are to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, then emissions of other climate drivers such as methane, black carbon, and ground-level ozone must be reduced alongside carbon dioxide. These reductions would benefit the climate and foster sustainable development by delivering better health outcomes through improved air quality, preventing crop losses, and ensuring that we avoid climate tipping points that would exacerbate long-term impacts and impede efforts to adapt to climate change.

Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies

Not only will reductions in key greenhouse gases help limit global warming, but reductions will also protect human health, our resources, and our quality of life.

This Friday, June 21st, is Clean Air Action Day. We invite you to come out to Paul Quinn College and learn how Urban Agriculture can help improve our air quality and mitigate/adapt to the effects of climate change. Residents are also asked to pledge to do just one thing on Friday to help improve air quality. Be a Clean Air Champion for Dallas!

clean air action day, CAAD, paul quinn college, air quality, clean air

Trash Bash Litter Dash 2019 Fri, 19 Apr 2019 08:42:28 +0000 Continue reading


Dallas Environmental Quality & Sustainability and the City of Dallas’ Department of Human Resources Wellness Center hosted the first ever plogging race for City of Dallas employees to usher in Earth Month. What is plogging? Plogging is a combination of jogging and the Swedish word for picking up, plocka upp. Plogging started in Sweden when one man noticed a lot of litter along his jogging route. He started to pick it up while he ran.  Soon, his friends and other runners joined in. This became an eco-fitness craze that has found its way to America.

runner with broken bike

City employees tried out plogging or plalking (walking and picking up litter) at the Trash Bash Litter Dash on April 5, 2019. Racers went from the City Hall Plaza, to the Farmers Market and back, picking up trash and recyclables. Rankings were based on the racer’s time plus how much litter they brought back. Racers collected 85 pounds of litter! Everything was recycled or properly disposed of.

“I had a blast today, made some new friends as well. Also, it was a first for me to enter anything like this,” said Sherrie Lopez who came in first in her division.

This unique event garnered a lot of community support. Other city departments recognized the importance of an event like this and partnered with us. The City of Dallas Transportation Department turned decommissioned Dallas street signs into awards for the winners.

City of Dallas Transportation Department executive,
Towfiq Khan, with the 2019 Trash Bash Litter Dash awards made from old street signs.

The Wellness Center and Dallas Environmental Quality & Sustainability would like to thank all the racers, staff and volunteers that made this event possible, plus:

  • Promoted Events for the online registration and electronic leaderboard
  • DeltaView Timing for the electronic timing chips
  • Del Monte Produce
  • EarthX for donating water
  • DART
  • City of Dallas Building Services
  • City of Dallas Department of Transportation
  • City of Dallas Office of Special Events
  • City of Dallas Planning and Urban Design
  • City of Dallas Sanitation Services
  • City of Dallas Department of Public Works
  • City of Dallas Security
  • Dallas Marshal’s Office
  • Dallas Fire Rescue
  • Dallas Water Utilities Defend your Drains
  • SPCA of Dallas
All the litter was weighed and then separated into trash or recyclables.

There are plogging groups and events in many cities, including Dallas. If you want to participate in a healthy and earth-friendly activity that improves your fitness and removes unsightly litter all at the same time, register for the Trash Dash 5K on May 11, 2019 at   

Replace Your Tired Diesel Truck with a Grant you Auto Know About Tue, 12 Mar 2019 15:01:14 +0000 Continue reading


The State of Texas has a great program to help make your business more profitable and help clean up the air in our community. Those two goals come together as the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan or TERP. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality or TCEQ administers the program. The goal of the program is to replace old polluting diesel trucks and equipment with new cleaner equipment. The program provides cash through grants to small business owners to help make this happen. If you are a small business owner and you would like to make your business more efficient by replacing that old inefficient diesel equipment with new state of the art equipment, you need to take a look at TERP.

Big, older diesel engines put out a lot of pollution — so much that changing even one of them to a newer, cleaner-burning model can be the equivalent of taking hundreds of cars off the road. Not only that, but new equipment is more fuel efficient and will cost you a lot less to operate. And with new equipment you won’t have to those big and unexpected repair bills. If the only thing holding you back is the cost, TERP can help out.

Semi truck driving down the highway blowing black smoke.
TERP can help you replace Old Smokey with the newest model.

The newest TERP rebate program opens March 14, 2019. This program will make $5,000,000 available to eligible small businesses in Dallas and 12 other counties. The grants are available on a first come, first served basis. Both heavy duty on road vehicles and heavy off road equipment are eligible. In order to qualify as a small business, you can own and operate up to five pieces of equipment. You must have owned the equipment for at least two years prior to the application date.

Red semi truck down the highway without visible diesel smoke.

If you interested, the next step is up to you. You can get more information at the TERP website or you can call the TCEQ TERP group at 1-800-919-TERP (8377). You can reach them by email at

Maybe this program does not fit your business. Not to worry, there are a variety of TERP programs including a TERP program for Alternative Fueling Facilities, Emission Reduction Incentive Grants, New Technology Implementation Grants, and many more. To get information on all the TERP programs visit their website.

Trammell Crow Jr. and the City of Dallas host ACCO Workshop Sat, 09 Mar 2019 03:30:39 +0000 Continue reading


he Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) held a day-long workshop on climate resilience and leadership on February 28, 2019 at Mountainview College in Dallas. Approximately seventy civil engineers, architects, environmental scientists, environmental professionals, and project leaders attended, representing north Texas cities, utilities and government organizations, and including staff from as far as Miami, Florida.

ACCO, climate change,

EarthX, in partnership with the City of Dallas’ Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability (DEQS), hosted the event.  Training topics included: Climate Change Fundamentals and Impacts on Local Governments and Communities; Basics of Public Health, Climate Change and Sensible Preparedness; Leveraging Tools to Inform Climate-related Decision Making; The Landscape of Ethics, Liability, Risk & Economics and The Present & Future of Energy, Water, Food & Water in the Metroplex and Texas. Attendees participated in group exercises and during the networking lunch, Trammel Crow and his CEO Tony Keane spoke to the group about EarthX and the passion that drives them to focus so closely on environmental issues and concerns.

Tamara Cook from the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) attended the workshop and said, “The training was timely as NCTCOG has seen increased attention from local governments regarding emissions reduction and infrastructure vulnerability associated with climate variability. We appreciate the City of Dallas’ leadership and look forward to supporting DEQS on these important issues.”

Plans are under discussion for a second workshop later this year.

Trammel Crow Jr. addresses the participants at the ACCO workshop in Dallas on Feburary 28, 2019.