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Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.

Feb 15

Ollie

Posted to Animal Services Successful Adoptions by Regina Ryan

We adopted Maverick, now "Ollie" on Dec. 22, 2016 - our first sweet dog having passed a year prior. We'd gone to the shelter to look at two (under 2 yrs of age) dogs I'd seen online. This VIP 4 year old wasn't even being considered, but managed to get my husband's attention with some persistent barking! It's now been 2 months, and Ollie hasn't put up so much as a peep! The quietest dog ever, but an independent little fellow. It's been a slow but steady process getting him to trust us, but we're in this for the long run! He's crazy about car rides and will get his fill of them with two long road trips this year. Meanwhile, our Fitbit's are getting a real workout with all of the walks. He's not interested in bones, but keeps us laughing by taking just one of each pair of shoes he finds, and moving them to different parts of the house. Fortunately, they haven't become chew toys. Ollie is a keeper for sure!

rsz_1Oollie
Feb 16

Speak for the Trees: Urban Foresters need your Feedback

Posted to Parks and Recreation by City of Plano PARD

 107-Big Lake  Bob Wooddruff Park 089    
Many things make up Plano’s Parks and Recreation Department, from our 70-plus miles of hike-and-bike trails to the numerous health and fitness programs offered at our recreation centers. Every element of our department plays an integral part in enhancing the quality of life for the citizens we serve.

But it can be easy to overlook one of the most important players of our department—our trees.

Being a City of Excellence means being a good steward of our natural resources, and the preservation of trees and green spaces is everyone’s responsibility. These simple creatures are more than just beautiful—they have a tremendous positive impact on our community, such as:
o Improving air quality
o Increasing property values
o Providing shade for our homes, parks, trails and streets (thereby reducing AC and heating bills)
o Reducing the greenhouse effect
o Serving as a home to wildlife 
o Helping to manage storm water run-off
o Improving our physical and mental well-being

Plano is home to roughly 1.7 million trees. This “urban forest” can be found everywhere—in open spaces, parks, rights-of-way, at city facilities and on private residential and commercial properties. To help ensure a bright future for Plano’s tree population, our Urban Forestry Division is working on the city’s first urban forest master plan. This plan will be used to create goals and priorities for the next 25 years to take the city’s urban forestry program to the next level.

But we cannot do it without the input of our citizens, said Angela Kralik, urban forester for the City of Plano.

“It’s really important that our citizens participate in the process. I know that trees mean a lot to them. I hear it from them all the time,” she said. “This survey is their chance to provide us their words of appreciation, care or even concern about Plano’s trees that will be memorialized in the urban forest master plan can be used to justify the need for urban forestry and tree care in Plano.”

“It’s not enough to know that we are doing the right thing,” Kralik added. “We need to hear from our citizens about what is important to them and then, anything is possible. Then, we can achieve a beautiful, healthy and sustainable urban environment for everyone.”

Now that these trees, as well as our forestry program itself, have matured, the time is right to create a master plan for one of Plano’s most valuable natural resources. Please take a couple of minutes to fill out this quick 6-question survey and be a part of Plano’s first urban forest master plan. The survey can be found here and can be filled out until Feb. 24.
Mar 23

I’M BACK! Even though I never left….. ;)

Posted to The Bug Blog by Regina Ryan

A new mosquito season is upon us. We have been active here in the Environmental Health Department working on mosquito related activities. We are now essentially operating year round to review, plan and act at a moment’s notice to keep mosquito populations at bay and keep Plano safe from West Nile virus, as well as new emerging diseases such as Dengue and Chikungunya. We are prepared to trap for the mosquitos that could transmit these viruses, but we need your help! This year we have already begun larviciding as well as seeding areas in Plano with Gambusia minnows (mosquitofish) to combat mosquito larvae before they can emerge as adults.

Habitat reduction is a major key to controlling mosquito populations. It is much easier too because mosquitoes spend nearly 10 days in stagnant water before maturing into adults. By eliminating (DRAIN) areas of stagnant water around your home you can have a great impact in not only making your yard safer this summer, but your neighbors as well.

Repellent is another major key to keeping yourself healthy this summer. During the summer of 2012 when West Nile was the worst that the Dallas-Ft. Worth area had seen, most of the people interviewed that contracted the West Nile virus stated that they had not been wearing repellent. Always make sure to DEFEND yourself while you are outdoors in the evening/early (DUSK/DAWN) morning and DRESS to minimize skin exposure to potential mosquito activity.

Always remember your 4 D’s: DEFEND, DRESS, DUSK/DAWN, DRAIN

If you have any questions about the City of Plano’s integrated mosquito management plan, concerns for mosquitoes in your area or would like to know more, please check out www.plano.gov .