I was sitting on my front porch swing one afternoon enjoying the mild weather and admiring the wellmaintained homes up and down my block. It dawned on me how much has changed since I moved to King William in 1979 and how many new neighbors have taken residence in just the past few years and who may not be aware of its history.

So, I am starting this occasional series, calling it “Old News, ” mainly using past issues of the KWA newsletter for inspiration. I hope it will be enjoyed by our newer neighbors and that it will bring back some memories to those of you who were early arrivals when you were asked, “Aren’t you afraid to live downtown?!”

My first bit of Old News started in the fall of 2002 and is about the King William/Lavaca Tree Project. Although not in the too distant past, I am writing about the tree project because I was part of the group of volunteers...

from both neighborhoods who initially raised funds for and planted the first trees.

In 2002 that part of the Missions Trails National Parkway from Pereida St. to the S. St. Mary’s underpass was completed, including 42 tree wells. The boards of the King William and Lavaca Neighborhood Associations voted to adopt that part of the parkway and sponsor the tree plantings. A committee was formed, funds raised, volunteers drafted and the 42 trees were planted. The work was helped along by probationers from the Bexar County Detention Center, coordinated by neighbor Bill Cogburn. After the initial planting, the project was expanded to include the area from S. Flores St. on the west, to I-37 on the east, the boundaries of the two associations.

Since 2002, over 500 trees have been planted along curbs in both residential and commercial areas. After 14 years the trees are now adding beauty to our urban environment and new trees are being planted where appropriate sites are found. The pictures above show project trees at the corner of Beauregard and S. Alamo Sts., both when they were planted in 2004 and now. Standing in the now picture are project chairs Mary Ann Ohlenbusch, Bill Cogburn and yours truly. - Alan Cash