Bringing the Lost Pines home again.
TreeFolks’ Bastrop County Community Reforestation Program (BCCRP) accelerates recovery of the Lost Pines ecosystem by reforesting private property affected by the Labor Day Wildfires of 2011, known as the Bastrop County Complex Fire. TreeFolks provides comprehensive reforestation services to all property owners affected by the fires, free of charge, by planting drought tolerant loblolly pine trees with volunteers and professional tree planting crews. TreeFolks also provides free trees through giveaway events, where all Bastrop area residents may receive both loblolly pines and hardwood trees, and education about how to plant and care for the trees at their homes. Our hope — and the hope of all of the homeowners, volunteers, partners, and donors who contribute to this massive effort — is to restore the Lost Pines to its former glory so that the residents of Bastrop County can once again live in the forest where they have built their homes and their lives.
YOU CAN HELP
TreeFolks’ Bastrop County Community Reforestation Program has planted more than 1.3 million trees on residential property in Bastrop County over the past three years. Over 1,500 volunteers have donated 4,500 hours of their time to reforest the Lost Pines on private lands, an equivalent to $99,000 of in-kind labor contributions! Volunteers and professional planting crews will plant an additional 420,000 pines during the upcoming 2015-2016 winter season, moving closer to our 2 million tree goal. Thousands of volunteers are needed to help reforest properties for our neighbors in Bastrop County. Opportunities are available from December through February and are listed on our Volunteer Opportunities page under “Reforestation in Bastrop County.” Sign up to volunteer today and witness first-hand the impact of disaster relief.
HOW IT WORKS
Reforestation services are provided free of charge on a first come, first served basis to all landowners within the Bastrop County Complex Fire burn scar. TreeFolks conducts a site visit to speak with landowners about their reforestation needs, prepare a site plan, and provide education about tree care and post-fire forest succession. We then schedule and supervise tree planting services and later conduct survival studies. If you plan to remove dead trees at a future date, please wait to apply until clearing is completed to avoid damage to newly planted seedlings. To apply for the program, please download the Reforestation Application and submit by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to: Reforestation Coordinator, TreeFolks, P.O. Box 704, Austin, TX 78767.
The Bastrop County Complex Fire was the most destructive wildfire in Texas history impacting over 34,000 acres of the unique Lost Pines eco-region. The massive conflagration, fueled by decades of undergrowth devoid of moisture due the region’s exceptional drought, forced thousands of people from their homes, destroyed more than 1,600 homes and claimed 2 lives. More than 16,200 acres of semi-rural forests, composed of loblolly pine trees unique to the Central Texas region and deciduous hardwoods, were completely burned in a fire so hot that the baked soil began to repel water.
Thousands of privately-owned properties were classified as severely burned, meaning that significant regeneration of loblolly pines on the property was unlikely to occur under natural conditions. In response, the Texas A&M Forest Service and Bastrop County, along with the Lost Pines Recovery Team, asked TreeFolks to develop a program to reforest private property affected by the fire, embarking on a 5 year campaign to plant more than 2 million loblolly pine trees on privately-owned land in Bastrop County.
PARTNERSHIPS MAKE IT POSSIBLE
TreeFolks’ reforestation program is the first of its kind to replant trees for large numbers of small, privately-owned properties in semi-rural communities. Reforestation in Bastrop County has proven a successful model for government, business and nonprofit agencies to work together for a common goal: restoring the Lost Pines of Bastrop County. TreeFolks’ reforestation efforts complement the work of the broader Lost Pines Recovery Team, a consortium of local, state and federal agencies led by Bastrop County. If you would like to support our Lost Pines recovery efforts, please donate online or contact TreeFolks at (512) 443-5323.
TEXAS ENVIRONMENTAL EXCELLENCE AWARD
TreeFolks was honored to receive the 2015 Texas Environmental Excellence Award in the Civic/Community category for its role in the reforestation of the Lost Pines through the Bastrop County Community Reforestation Program. To learn more about the Awards visit www.TEAA.org.