Forgive me for beginning my report on the Root Ball benefit for TreeFolks by describing the venue in a little detail. Previously, the group that has planted more than 2.8 million saplings in the Austin area during its 30-year history supped under the sheltering trees at Springdale Farm, which has since changed hands.
RELATED: How TreeFolks turned one sapling into 2.8 million Austin area trees.
This year, TreeFolks moved to a fresh special events vneue called “C70” in the former home of La V eatery on East Seventh Street. Although they had hoped to spread out over the spacious landscaped patios, the autumn night was cold and rainy, so the reception and silent auction took place in the eastern wing of the L-shaped interior space, which worked out perfectly well.
Dinner was served in the western wing and speakers addressed the crowd from an open corner of the room. Executive director Thais Perkins was particularly on point about science and climate change, while Mayor Steve Adler and U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett added apt political angles.
Yet the evening was anything but divisive. Honored were Hays County Commissioner Will Conley, who helped drive the group’s replanting of the ravaged Blanco River Valley; State Rep. Carol Alvarado of Houston, who led the charge in a special legislative session to prevent the gutting of municipal tree protection ordinances; and Pilgrim Building Company for its “Respect for Trees in Business.”
Sneak preview: TreeFolks will receive yet another big grant to plant trees in a Central Texas district, but we must wait for official word before reporting it.