Everyday Hero: Jackie Cole

Jackie Cole president of the Galveston Island Tree Conservancy has helped develop a replanting strategy on the island after Hurricane Ike.

EVERYDAY HERO: Jackie Cole

HOME PLACE: Galveston

DAY JOB: Veterinarian and owner of Campeche Cove Animal Hospital in Galveston

COMMUNITY SERVICE: Helped organize Galveston’s first groups to develop a replanting strategy after Hurricane Ike which led to the establishment of Galveston’s municipal tree committee and the Galveston Island Tree Conservancy. She is president of the nonprofit group. Conservancy programs include NeighborWoods the planting of 700 trees in five neighborhoods; replanting of two historical thoroughfares including seven blocks of Broadway; planting programs at city hall and five of the city’s 12 parks with three more parks set to be replanted in 2012; and the Great Galveston Tree Giveaway programs that provided 6000 trees to local residents.

WHY: “We can’t live without trees” Cole said. “Planting and protecting trees has always been a part of my life. I sat in trees in protest of them being cut down in Austin when I was in college.”

ENJOY MOST: “What I enjoy most about the tree conservancy is the other people I work with and also the joy of seeing the trees come back to the community” she said. “This is vital work.”

ADVICE: “This is restoring the past and caring for the future” Cole said. “It’s going to be a multiyear project. This is not a flash in the pan or a one-time thing. This is going to take a concerted effort by the community to make this happen so continued support is what is going to make the difference.”

GET INVOLVED: Donate tree-planting funds at www.galveston

islandtreeconservancy.org. Trees can be planted in honor of a friend or loved one with a certificate sent announcing your gift. Another way to donate is by attending activities planned at the annual Arbor Day Celebration on April 27 with special guest Dan Rather. Tickets for Conversation and Cocktails with Dan Rather are $50 per person; tickets for Dinner with Dan Rather hosted by George Mitchell are $250 per person. The price includes ticket to Conversation and Cocktails.

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