MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The McAllen community gathered Saturday to plant over 1,500 native plants.

The goal is to create a “Tiny Forest” aimed at improving the environment for residents and wildlife, creating a healthier future for generations to come.

The non-profit wing of Quinta Mazatlan along with donors, invested over $25,000 to create the Tiny Forest. Someday they hope it will become a real forest, one that is diverse and self-sustaining.

“We are right across from the Palmview Community Center and walking distance from three schools,” Colleen Hook, Quinta Mazatlan manager, said. “This forest can be enjoyed by the neighborhood and even used as an outdoor classroom for all of these schools as they watch this forest grow.”

According to Earth Watch Europe, the Tiny Forest technique was developed in the 1970s by botanist Akira Miyawaki. With this method, an urban forest can grow within a short span of 20 to 30 years while a conventional forest takes around 200-300 years to mature naturally.