By Natalie Stoll
Updated: Wednesday, November 20, 2013, 6:36 PM CST
Published: Wednesday, November 20, 2013, 6:36 PM
Watch the full story at KXAN.com
BASTROP (KXAN) – The reforestation effort in Bastrop is still going strong two years after the Bastrop County Complex Fire over the Labor Day weekend.
Around 80 volunteers with Kampgrounds of America (KOA) joined Treefolks to plant 3,000 loblolly pine trees Wednesday.
The KOA volunteers were in Austin for a convention. A few have close ties to this area. Mike Myers spent weeks as a firefighter in Bastrop in 2011.
“Watched people go through a lot of agony and grief, stress, wondering what to do with themselves,” Myers said. “Being able to come back and throw a little bit back in here is nice.”
The goal of these efforts is to bring back Bastrop’s unique landscape. In this case, nature needs some help.
“The fire burned at such extreme temperatures that there wasn’t much regeneration left,” said Carly Blankenship, Treefolks program manager. “There weren’t many seeds left for the trees to reproduce on their own.”
Treefolks partners with Bastrop County, the Arbor Day Foundation and the Texas Forest Service to plant trees on private land in Bastrop.
“For a lot of landowners, they moved out here because of the lost pines in this region,” said Blankenship. “We’re just trying to reforest these and get it back so the landowner can feel back at home.”
Blankenship says bringing a forest back is a slow process. “You can have these trees grow on average around 8-10 inches a year but it all depends on rainfall,” she said.