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January 30, 2014 COLLEGE STATION, Texas Approximately 10,000 trees will take root in Texas soil over the next two weekends in February, helping restore the wildfire-scarred landscape of Bastrop County.

Aggie Replant - a Texas A&M student organization – will converge approximately 800-strong on Bastrop State Park for the second of a five-year recovery program to reforest the county.

Last year, Aggies planted approximately 8,500 seedlings in the park as part of the Lost Pines Forest Recovery Campaign and are returning this year with a goal of planting 10,000 trees.

The park restoration project is facilitated in partnership by Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Arbor Day Foundation. The effort helps support work by the broader Lost Pines Recovery Team, a group of local, state and federal agencies led by Bastrop County.

“I am excited for year two with the Aggies,” said Jamie Hackett, park superintendent of the Lost Pines Complex. “This event was the largest of 22 student and volunteer plantings last year, and we expect it to be even bigger this year with 10,000 seedlings going in the ground.”

Despite prevalent drought conditions, surveys and inspections show that the trees planted through volunteer efforts fared well across the park with a 48% percent survival rate.

“The future looks good for these trees” said Jim Rooni, department head for TFS Central Texas operations. “Aggie Replant builds upon the entire project. We have an ambitious goal of planting four million trees throughout the county in five years. And with the help of these volunteers from Texas A&M, we are optimistic we’ll reach that goal.”

The Aggie Replant events take place the weekends of February 1-2 and 8-9, 2014. Students buses are expected to arrive at the park around 10 a.m. each planting day.



Note:  Photo and interview opportunities are available throughout the day.  Those wishing to access the planting areas are advised that field-working conditions apply to all visitors, including media. Long pants and sturdy hard-toe shoes are required clothing. Hard hats are provided on site.


Jim Rooni

TFS Central Texas Operations

979-220-0165, jrooni@tfs.tamu.edu


Jamie Hackett

TPWD Park superintendent, Lost Pines Complex

512-321-1673, Jamie.hackett@tpwd.texas.gov


TFS Communications Office

979-458-6606, newsmedia@tfs.tamu.edu