Tree Killing Video

Check out this film about tree killing in Florida.  Filmed, produced and directed by Ossian Or and his partner who are documenting grassroots billboard battles around the country.  This is about a whistle blower/former Lamar employee and their tree-killing work in Tallahassee—very powerful piece.

Tree Killing in Florida

Scenic Texas Awards the 2011 Texas Certified Scenic Cities

Scenic Texas awarded the 2011 Texas Certified Scenic Cities on October 13, 2o11.  The awards ceremony was held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Houston, Texas.  Houston Mayor Annise Parker was on hand to help Executive Director of the Scenic Cities Program, Anne Culver present the awards.  The mission of the Scenic City Certification Program is to support and recognize Texas municipalities that implement high-quality scenic standards for public roadways and public spaces, with the long-term goal of improving the image of all cities.

Here are the 2011 honorees along with a few notable achievements:

Platinum Winners


  • Received full points for on-premises sign regulations
  • Maintains historical sites throughout the town, along the railroad route that used to run through the town
  • Demonstrates model lighting regulations
  • All own construction projects must include public art
  • Received full points for utility and cable line program
  • Has over 10 separate districts with clear and distinct unity-of-design standards
  • Has an ordinance that maintains a percentage of capital project funds be used for public art
Gold Winners
  • Received full points for streetscape development & landscaping criteria
  • Has very strict on and off-premises signage regulation
  • One of 11 cities in the state to receive a certificate of planning excellence from the American Plannig Association
  • Received full points for landscaping in parking lots
  • Has 5 special districts- including a historic district
  • Has strict “dark skies” regulations
  • Meets national standards 0f 10 acres of park per 1,000 citizens
Cedar Hill
  • Is a “Tree City USA” and has been for several years
  • Received full points for on-premises sign regulations
  • Has a walking tour that highlights the historic district of the city
  • Organizes two community cleanup projects every year
  • Has a historic district with specially made signage to enhance the historic feel
  • Is a tree city USA- through strict ordinances and hard work  by the Urban Forester
  • Electronic signage is specifically prohibited in all districts
  • Meets national standards of 10 acre of park per 1,000 citizens
  • Received full points for landscaping in parking lots and utility and cable line program
  • Has a very strict “dark skies” ordinance
  • Has a very active, pedestrian friendly, historic downtown
Silver Winners
  • Received full points for off-premises signage regulations
  • Has a very clear process of disposal for hazardous household waste
  • Has a storm water management program
  • Received full points for parks, trails and public spaces regulations
  • Has a historic preservation ordinance
  • Requires landscaping on private residential property
  • Requires that all utility lines be installed underground
North Richland Hills
  • Received full points for landscaping in parking lots
  • Has a historic district
  • Has a vast public art program- including art on utility infrastructure to reduce blight
Trophy Club
  • Has stringent off-premises signage control
  • Has park set-aside ordinance
  • Has distinctive median landscaping program
Bronze Winners
Horseshoe Bay
  • Reapplied this year and improved its standing
  • No existing billboards
  • Requires that all utilities be placed underground
  • Received full points for on and off-premises signage regulations
  • On January 1, the city adopted a largely new Unified Development Code that will “remake” Hutto’s streetscapes- in fact, it is basically based on these new codes and ordinances that Hutto was qualified to apply and be certified under this program
  • New code or not, nothing changes the fact that Hutto is replete with little “Hutto Hippos” all over town that are allowed as on-premise signage
  • Strong focus on infrastructure
  • All utility lines must be underground
  • Has strict ordinances to create drainage for storm runoff
  • Has a program to financially support local businesses to improve unity of design in the downtown sector
Recognized Cities
  • Very strict off-premises signage control
  • Has park set-aside ordinance for development
  • Has stringent landscaping and tree preservation ordinances
  • Has 13 different zoning districts
  • Has 3 detention facilities to prevent flooding
  • Has a citywide graffiti removal program that removes graffiti on private land free of charge
  • Has a historic preservation program
2012 applications can be submitted beginning January 1, 2012.  For more information or to apply, visit us online

Galveston Island Tree Conservancy Wins 700 Trees

The Galveston Island Tree Conservancy was named one of Tom’s of Maine 2011 Project Sponsorship winners.  $150,000 will be split among the 6 winners.  Galveston’s share will be used to plant over 700 trees lost in Hurricane Ike.  Thanks to all of you who voted!

For more information on the Tom’s of Maine contest and to read about the winners, please visit the Tom’s of Maine site at

Visual Pollution Documentary Film

Branding expert Marc Gobe’ of Emotional Branding and his filmmaker daughter Gwenaelle explore the worldwide problems caused by visual pollution. “This Space Available” will have its world premier at 7:00 p.m. on Sat. Nov. 5 at the documentary film festival in NYC. WE CAN reverse this madness and recapture America the Beautiful. Understanding how we have allowed this to happen is the first step to reversing it. Watch “This Space Available” and learn how to take back your public spaces.

For more information on this film and its premier, visit the docNYC website:

2011 Scenic Houston Benefit Dinner

The 2011 Scenic Houston Benefit Dinner was held Tuesday, September 27 in Houston, Texas.  This year’s Scenic Visionary honoree was Ann Lents.  Ann is a prominent attorney and the former President and CEO of the Center for Houston’s Future.  She has been an active civic volunteer dedicated to seeing Houston become a renowned city of parks, trails, inviting streetscapes and walkable, tree-lined neighborhoods.  Her work in environmental matters and children’s issues is playing a major role in shaping a better Houston.  Ann is a founding member of the Quality of Life Coalition and currently serves on numerous boards, including the Houston Parks Board, Texas Children’s Hospital, the University of Texas Law School Foundation and the Scenic Houston Advisory Board.  She was recently appointed by Mayor Annise Parker to the ReBuild Houston Oversight Committee.  Her volunteer commitments have also included service on the boards of Trees for Houston, Houston Wilderness, DePelchin Children’s Center and the Kinkaid School.

Scenic Houston also presented the first-ever Scenic Integrity Award to the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County for continuous pursuit of its goal to protect and enhance the natural environment and community character of the region it serves.  Scenic Houston makes particular note that alone among the major U.S. transit authorities, METRO has chosen not to cover our public transit vehicles, shelters and stations with commercial advertising.    This respect for our streetscapes and neighborhoods supports, honors and improves Houston and the entire METRO service area.  METRO has also rebuilt major streets, landscaped its facilities, removed billboards and introduced an Arts in Transit program, setting a community improvement example for all government agencies to follow.

In 2011, Scenic Houston celebrated its 45th year of working to stop visual blight and improve the appearance of Houston’s streetscapes. Enhancing the aesthetic, recreational, and natural aspects of Houston creates a livable city that promotes prosperity and growth. Each year Scenic Houston honors individuals and communities that fully support scenic efforts within the City of Houston.


Houston’s Bandit Sign Initiative

The Houston Chronicle reports that Mayor Annise Parker is making a push to hold those who post illegal bandit signs financially liable for their visual pollution of the city. Read the article at Scenic Houston applauds Mayor Parker for this initiative, which she announced September 27th to over 300 Scenic Houston members at its annual Scenic Visionary awards dinner in Houston.


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