In 1975, 51st Street was being widened -- a process that required the removal of a vast number of trees. A young high school student who lived near the construction zone, wondered how and if the city would replace the trees. He took the initiative to make a phone call to the Tulsa Streets Commissioner, a man named Sid Patterson, and asked what the city was doing to replace the trees.
Commissioner Patterson was not able to answer that question right away and he learned, in fact, the city was doing little. In Tulsa’s energy-driven economy, times were hard and there were no funds available for trees, let alone the labor to plant and maintain them.
A persuasive man of action, Commissioner Patterson with his “golden handshake” began organizing groups of Tulsa Garden Club members, landscape architects and representatives from Rotary Club of Tulsa and several other civic groups.
During the next couple of years, Patterson caused the seed of an idea to grow into a determined group of volunteers. Strength of character and consistent effort led to the formulation of a plan…UP WITH TREES was born in 1976.