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Aggie Replant calls volunteers to restore Bastrop park tree population

Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013

Updated: Friday, February 1, 2013 01:02

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Nearly a year after the Bastrop wildfires — the worst wildfire in Texas history — Aggie Replant is calling for 720 volunteers for their Lost Pines Recovery Campaign, a four-day project to plant 30,000 seedlings in the recovering park.

The September 2011 fire, reportedly caused by dry weather conditions and a faulty power line, raged through 32,000 acres, destroyed more than 1,600 homes and 90 percent of the Bastrop State Park before finally being extinguished the following month.

Yet, long after the fire’s end, the park still faces problems in the form of soil erosion caused by a lack of vegetative root system to hold the soil in place. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, even light rain sweeps soil away. Therefore, the first steps to recovery are to stop erosion through the planting of "drought-hardy" Loblolly pine trees. To do so, Texas Parks and Wildlife partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation and the Texas A&M Forest Service to form the Lost Pines Recovery Campaign.

The campaign looks to plant 4 million Loblolly pines on about 16,000 acres of land during the next five years.

“Replant has always had a desire to help other communities outside of the Bryan and College Station area,” said Andrea Fonseca, Lost Pines Recovery Campaign project coordinator. “So when Texas A&M forester Pete Smith asked us to head the first student-led university organization, Lost Pines Recovery efforts, we were more than excited to accept.”

Fonseca also said they are calling on a greater tradition by asking for volunteers.

“Our main goal is to bring Aggies together again under our strong tradition of selfless-service, leadership and respect for the environment for the Bastrop community,” Fonseca said.

 

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