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Coppell Nature Park is a rarity - a rich and dense old growth forest that has become scarce in the sprawling landscape of suburban DFW. The area is something truly unique in the community.
However, as it is tucked away in a little magical corner of the City, many Coppell citizens are not aware of its existence. Bob and Annette Tess, two avid volunteers for CNP, were among this crowd. When they did eventually discover the park, its extraordinary presence and importance was not lost on the couple.
"[We] immediately recognized the special nature of the Park," Bob said.
The Tesses, who felt it necessary to shed more light on this valuable forest, quickly came up with an idea. Working as members of the board for the Friends of Coppell Nature Park, the couple did research regarding the approaches other nature parks around the country have taken in providing tree identification signage.
"We thought that tree identification signs would be a way to enhance people's experience of walking the trails, and increase their appreciation of this unique environment," Bob said.
With more than 25 native tree species, some ranging to over 100 feet in height, professional arborists who visit CNP are amazed at its diversity.
From there, the Tesses developed the custom signs you see in Coppell Nature Park today.
Each sign provides specifics about that tree species, an illustration of its leaf and seed, nut, or fruit, some interesting facts about that tree and a QR code providing smart-phone access to a fully detailed page about that tree on the Texas A&M Forest Service website.
The Tesses' caring and meticulous research and planning are very evident as the signs are mounted in the arborist approved method that does not damage the tree, and each one is beautifully detailed.
"Annette and I thoroughly enjoyed the process of developing and placing the tree ID signs," Bob said. "We hope they contribute to the community's enjoyment of Coppell Nature Park, and spur interest in learning more about the natural world around us."