December 11, 2015
Contact: Joshua Stringer
The National Park Service (NPS) is turning 100 years old in August 2016! The keystone activity for the NPS Centennial at Big Thicket National Preserve will be the planting of a “Centennial Forest” of longleaf pine trees using the help of volunteers and school students who can watch there forest develop over the next century. You too can help us plant 100,000 longleaf pine seedlings in the Big Sandy Creek Unit of the preserve. We are inviting people of all ages to participate in one of the following planting events. We hope to plant over 100,000 longleaf pine seedlings by the end of 2016 and to have created a 300 acre “Centennial Forest” adjacent to an existing 100+ year old longleaf and loblolly pine forest.
We are currently seeking volunteers to assist with the following planting dates:
Monday, January 18th at 9 am (Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service)
Saturday, January 23rd at 9 am
Saturday, February 6th at 9 am
Saturday, February 20th at 9 am
Saturday, March 5th at 9 am
The Centennial Forest area is located north of Dallardsville, TX in the Big Sandy Creek Unit of the preserve. People interested in volunteering are asked to sign-up for this opportunity by calling the Visitor Center at 409-951-6700. Details about the planting events, including directions to the planting site will be provided during the sign-up process.
Each day’s planting will begin at 9 am and start with a volunteer sign-up, a safety briefing, and a demonstration of how to plant the longleaf pine seedlings. All tools and planting bags, along with water for refilling water bottles, will be provided. Volunteers are asked to bring a lunch, gloves, good boots, and clothing appropriate for that day’s expected weather.
The goal is to plant around 7,000 to 10,000 trees during each planting event. Planting will wrap up at around 2 pm. Park staff will offer a short ½ mile walking tour through the nearby 100 year old longleaf and loblolly pine forest at the end of the planting day. The National Park Service would like to thank the numerous local conservation groups, garden clubs and community organizations have generously offered to sponsor these planting events.
Big Thicket National Preserve is offering special Centennial programming and community involvement opportunities throughout the year to enhance participation in activities, education, and stewardship of our unique natural resources in Southeast Texas. Complete program descriptions, including dates, locations and topics for each program are can be found on the preserve’s website, www.nps.gov/bith, and on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bigthicketnps. Check back often for updated lists of activities, as new opportunities are added frequently.
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 409 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.