'Aggies' Replant Scorched Texas State Park
Fire-ravaged Bastrop State Park and its fabled Lost Pines area, located southeast of Austin, Texas, got a big boost this past weekend on a quest to regain its lost beauty and ecological vitality, thanks to hundreds of Texas A&M University students who came to plant pine seedlings — thousands of them — under the watchful eyes of Texas A&M Forest Service (TFS) and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) personnel.
“Bring back the Lost Pines” was the theme of the day, and the Aggies quickly showed they are willing to do their part, KBTX-TV, Bryan and College Station reported.
The student volunteers are being led by Aggie Replant, a Texas A&M environmental organization formed more than two decades ago to replace trees cut down when Aggie Bonfire was still conducted on campus. The recognized student organization has continued its founding mission, even though Bonfire is no longer a sanctioned university activity.
The first contingent of about 800 Aggie volunteers arrived in a four-bus caravan from College Station Saturday morning (Feb. 16), and another group made the trip on Sunday. Plans call for repeating the two-day program this coming weekend (Feb. 23-24).
At the conclusion of the four sessions, Aggie Replant leaders estimate the 6,600-acre park will have about 30,000 new drought-hardy loblolly pines in its horticultural inventory. The Aggies are planting the seedlings — which are about eight inches tall – along Park Road 1C in what is called the facility’s “historic scenic corridor.”
The Lost Pines area believed to have once been part of an unique pine-oak forest in Central Texas. The fully equipped cabins and group facility were constructed by the CCC in the 1930s using local sandstone so that the structures seem to be a natural part of the landscape.
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