New Beginnings: Students replant areas hit by floods

Courtesy of the Collins Academy


ForestsAfter severe flooding hit Lake O’the Pines in 2015-2016 more than 40 acres of flood intolerant pine trees were destroyed by prolonged inundation in the popular Lakeside Park. This week, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers received some welcome assistance from volunteers with Collins Academy, Jefferson High School Honors Chemistry Students and members of The Cypress Basin Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist who gave Mother Nature a helping hand in the reforestation of one of the larger flooded areas, by planting flood-tolerant bottomland hardwoods in an area where salvage of damaged pine trees had been completed. Keith Cook, Environmental Stewardship and Line Business Manager, Natural Resource Specialist Ricky Maxey and Robert Henderson, along with Forester Matt Seavey welcomed the group who arrived with tree planting shovels and buckets filled with a mixture of flood tolerant Bald Cypress, Water Hickory and Black Gum trees, and worked to hand-plant the damaged area and help to create a sustainable, water tolerant forest began.

Robert Henderson said, “The Corps Staff is pleased to have the volunteer project underway. We welcome volunteers. When people want to get involved, great things can happen. The lake belongs to all of us, and it is gratifying to find people who want to help us take care of it.

Forests 2Construction of the Ferrell’s Bridge Dam at Lake O ’the Pines was fully completed in 1958. Congress established the reservoir for the primary purpose of flood control and water supply. Since that time it has become one of the most popular travel destinations in the Ark-La-Tex region for fishing, hunting, camping, bird watching, and for all types of water sports. Ricky Maxey said, “Not only is it a popular recreational spot, but the lake is the primary source for flood control, water storage and drinking water for the region.” He said, “In addition to the popularity of the area, it is also a favorite gathering location for winter Texans and retirees from October through March.”

Jefferson High students gave the project high marks…

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