Reporting Texas
News and features from UT-Austin's School of Journalism

Environment

TreeFolks’s Carbon Credit Program Taking Root

When Tamara Stutz heard about a free tree planting program at her neighbor’s house, she was sold. Coordinators from TreeFolks, an Austin-based non-profit, had reached out to property owners in her neighborhood outside Manor offering to plant trees in an effort to prevent floods.

“This is a 100-year floodplain we are standing on,” Stutz said when Reporting Texas visited in April.

By February 2020, Stutz had more than 1,800 saplings planted on 3⅓ acres of her 30-acre farm. Her part of the bargain: Leave them alone. The trees would fend for themselves. Stutz was so delighted with how the saplings progressed that she asked TreeFolks to come again in 2021.

Stutz gets trees and protection against erosion and everyone benefits from the carbon dioxide-sequestering potential of her saplings. TreeFolks earns carbon credits for planting the trees, which the organization then sells to the City of Austin. 

A carbon credit is “a tradable credit granted to a country, company, etc., for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases by one metric ton,” […]

Renewing Battle Against the Fish Eating Lake Austin

Sterile grass carp did too good a job controlling hydrilla and ended up ruining Lake Austin as bass habitat.

South Austin Ecovillage Prepares for a Radically Different Future

Roots is an intentional community devoted to exploring more sustainable ways of life.

The Winds of Climate Change: How Extreme Weather Affects a Local Farm

The owners of Green Gate Farms say drier weather during the planting season has created difficult conditions throughout the year and delayed planting times.

May 10, 2020

Texas A&M Entomologist Provides Insight on Global Locust Devastation

Hojun Song, a professor in the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M, has been researching grasshoppers and crickets, with a focus on the evolution of swarming locusts. Reporting Texas spoke with Song on the video conferencing app Zoom about his research.

 

Nov 20, 2019

Austin Aims to Reduce Waste Through Fix-It Clinics

Modeled after repair cafes in cities around the world, Austin’s Fix-It Clinics are a way for residents to learn how to fix broken household items and encourage them to reuse objects that would otherwise be discarded.

Jun 03, 2019

Hill Country Caves Are Critical to Sustaining Above-Ground Life in Central Texas

Environmentalists say the survival of human communities in Central Texas is deeply intertwined with what goes on in the caves that dot the Hill Country.

May 24, 2019

Houston, Do We Have an Animal Trapping Problem? The Trapping Debate Explained

In Texas, trapping is mainly used to control predators and nuisance animals that threaten livestock. The practice churns up heated debate between trappers, hunters, ranchers and animal welfare groups.

May 22, 2019

Offspring of Famous Texas Trees Find Homes in Living Museums

The Hall of Texas Heroes exhibit at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is made up of saplings collected from the acorns of famous trees from Texas history.

May 06, 2019

Houston Toad Faces Uphill Battle but Refuses to Croak

The tiny amphibian faces an existential threat from the torrid development around its remaining habitat in Bastrop County. (Story also appeared in the Austin American-Statesman.)

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