This April, the Fort Worth Report is spotlighting individuals and institutions across Tarrant County who are working to create a more sustainable community. This is the second story in our 2023 Earth Month series. Read previous stories here.

In his professional life, Nathan Loftice thinks globally.

He’s worked on sustainability issues for companies like FedEx and BNSF Railway. As president and CEO of EarthX, a Dallas-based nonprofit organization, he hosts conferences focused on the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. 

But Loftice’s personal passion, reflecting his love of Fort Worth, is all local. After spotting volunteers planting trees on Randol Mill Road several years ago, Loftice found his way to serving on the board of Texas Blossoms, a nonprofit that beautifies Fort Worth and other cities through planting flowering trees. 

If you go…

What: Back in Bloom Gala benefiting Texas Blossoms
Admission: Tickets ranging from $50 to $150. Learn more here.
Address: Nick and Lou Martin University Center
              3165 E Rosedale St., Fort Worth, Texas 76105
When: 6 p.m. April 15

“Where do I get the highest return on investment of my time?” Loftice said. “It’s planting those trees. It takes me home, to be honest with you.”

Members of economic redevelopment organization East Fort Worth Inc. formed the first iteration of Texas Blossoms in 2015, according to Paul Kerpoe, the organization’s secretary and fundraising chair. 

Eastside Blossoms, as it was then known, came into focus during a Friday afternoon meeting over whiskey, Kerpoe said. Jerry Barton, a longtime east Fort Worth booster, told the story of how prominent Fort Worth couple Anne and Charles Tandy once dreamed of lining the Trinity River with cherry blossoms. 

“We thought it was a really great story,” Kerpoe said. “Jerry said: ‘Well, why don’t we do that now?’ We decided cherry blossoms weren’t the right tree to plant, but we found the right trees. And since we’re all eastsiders, we said we’d start along the east side.” 

Since then, the organization has planted and maintained about 1,600 trees in east Fort Worth, each bringing a vibrant hue to the area when they flower each spring. 

Unlike cherry blossoms, which would have trouble surviving the region’s summer heat waves, tree species like Texas Rosebud, Mexican Plum and Eve’s Necklace have flourished along Randol Mill Road and other project sites. 

The beautification effort comes with a price tag. Depending on climate and time of year, crews hired by Texas Blossoms must water the trees at least once every two weeks and, during extreme heat and drought, once every five days. The cost comes out to about $750 per watering, according to Texas Blossoms’ website.

“Last summer, we were going every five days,” Kerpoe said. “Most of our donations go to the city of Fort Worth’s water department, because watering is our biggest expense.” 

From left to right: Eve’s Necklace, Texas Mountain Laurel and Mexican Plum are among the blossoming trees planted by Texas Blossoms. (Wikimedia Commons, Robert Nunnally | Flickr)

Through the organization’s annual gala, set for April 15 at Texas Wesleyan University, leaders hope to rally funding for their mission, which has expanded beyond the eastside in recent years. Tickets for the event are on sale until the end of April 10.

Since transitioning from Eastside Blossoms to Texas Blossoms, the group has partnered with the city’s library system to plant trees at 10 branches, including several in southwest Fort Worth. If all goes to plan, saplings will be on their way to the north side as well. 

Kerpoe and other volunteers recently met with Fort Worth’s transportation and public works department to learn how Texas Blossoms could plant trees as the city repairs and develops roadways. The organization also sees opportunities to work with Fort Worth ISD campuses beyond eastside schools, he added. 

Like his fellow board members, Loftice is eager to take the Texas Blossoms message to other parts of the state and beyond. He wants residents in other cities, like San Antonio or Houston, to pick up the torch and form their own chapters. 

“We have big aspirations,” Loftice said. “EarthX went from Earth Day Dallas to Earth Day Texas to EarthX. So Blossoms needs to go from Eastside Blossoms to Texas Blossoms to Earth Blossoms, however big we want to get. We need people to open their checkbooks so we can plant more trees.” 

Nathan Loftice, left, stands with District 5 Councilmember Gyna Bivens, Texas Blossoms founder Jerry Barton and board member Melissa Loftice. (Courtesy image | Texas Blossoms)

Loftice’s sense of urgency comes not only from the air quality and heat reduction benefits associated with tree planting, but the memories that it creates within families, including his own. 

He grew up on a rural Collin County ranch, where he spent hours working alongside his grandmother in her garden. Later in life, Loftice became passionate about increasing habitats for pollinators like monarch butterflies. 

Loftice wants to pass that knowledge onto the next generation, which is growing up amid an explosion of rooftops and population growth in North Texas. 

“Just seeing the beauty of a tree is the thing I love the most – and the impact it has on my children when we plant them,” Loftice said. “We used to plant the trees early in the morning, during baseball season. I had my son out there in his baseball gear, helping me dig a hole to plant the tree. It’s one thing that you can do with your parents and your children.” 

Haley Samsel is the environmental reporter for the Fort Worth Report. You can reach them at

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Haley SamselEnvironmental Reporter

Haley Samsel is the environmental reporter for the Fort Worth Report. You can reach them at Her coverage is made possible by a grant from the Marilyn Brachman Hoffman...