Trees beautify our community by providing shade and habitat for wildlife, prevent erosion and stabilize soils, reduce air and noise pollution and minimize energy use around homes and buildings. Help conserve and protect our natural resources by planting trees adapted for the growing conditions of ourarea.
The Brazos County Arboretum,
A Gift Acknowledged Arbor Day, April 30, 2010
In spring of 2009, 24 trees adapted to the growing conditions of the Brazos Valley were planted at the DIG and dedicated on Arbor Day, April 30, 2010, as the Brazos County Arboretum ( view dedication brochure). The dedication of the Brazos County Arboretum acknowledged a gift to the Brazos County Master Gardener Association from Ms. Janis Atkins, founder of Brazos Natural Foods. The gift was given in memory of her parents, Ira Lee and Mary Dewees, to recognize their life-long dedication to gardening and preservation of nature.
Ira Lee and Mary Dewees moved to Bryan, Texas upon Ira Lee’s retirement in 1980. One of the first things they did was plant trees on their new property. In Baytown, where they previously resided, they grew bay, camphor, oak and pecan trees. They brought seedlings of these trees with them and slowly added tree varieties adapted to this region, primarily oaks, that were readily available at the time. They then built their rose, perennial and vegetable gardens amongst them.
The Dewees were very generous in sharing the bounty of their gardens. Mary especially enjoyed passing along seeds, cuttings and divisions from their garden with her family, friends and neighbors as often as she could. The Dewees’ generous and curious nature passed onto their children and grandchildren who were fortunate to spend many moments in the gardens. Together they appreciated the seasonal experiences that nature provides.
The Brazos County Arboretum was made possible through the financial and in-kind donations of Ms. Atkins, the Brazos County Commissioner’s Court, ISA-certified arborists Jeff Lehde (My Plant People, LLC.) and Andy Hillis (Professional Tree Service), the Brazos County Road and Bridge Department, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agents, Extension Specialists and Brazos County Master Gardeners. Thank you for your contributions.