By Sabrina Chess
Biloxi, MS (November 18, 2007)- Replant South Mississippi is one step closer to its goal of planting 300,000 trees to replace those damaged or lost in Hurricane Katrina. On Saturday, volunteers from the 334th Training Squadron of Keesler Air Force Base and members of the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain met and planted live oak and river birch trees in Biloxi. In Pass Christian, 100 trees were planted in the Timber Ridge subdivision and 600 trees were given away to the public. Volunteers in Gautier planted 450 trees, and the city of Ocean Springs gave out trees and is taking applications at meetings each Monday at 7 p.m. at the library.
Replant South Mississippi, formed in February, started as a partnership between the Sun Herald and the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain. Area communities, the state Forestry Commission, the Home Depot Foundation, RPM Ecosystems Gulf Coast and Mississippi State University have joined the drive. Replant South Mississippi’s focus is to replant trees on public and private property to benefit the public. The trees planted on private property must also be planted within public view. The group has a three- to five-year plan of planting 300,000 trees.
On Saturday, Eric Nolan, Biloxi city arborist, gave volunteers and Land Trust members directions on how to properly plant and care for the trees. Arlene Canaan, a member of the Land Trust, spoke to volunteers about how they were involved in bringing beauty back to the Coast. “This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to increase the value of their property, lower their home-energy cost by 15 to 20 percent, and help bring the beauty and canopy back to the Gulf Coast,” said Canaan. “We are in the process of getting all phases of the city involved in this project.”
The trees are native species that have a special root-production method that allows them to grow and mature quickly and have a survival rate of 95 percent. The group is looking forward to receiving new trees to give to the public for replanting in the near future. In the spring, Southern magnolia trees will be available and Live oak trees will also be available for distribution next year. Currently, the group is offering seven different species of trees available free to any resident.
For the full article, visit the Biloxi Sun Herald.
City of Biloxi
Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain