I just returned from a cycling / tree planting event in Bastrop, Texas, the Bastrop reTREEt. We cycled and planted trees throughout an area which was hit hard in the last 2 years by severe drought and then on Labour Day 2011 a wild fire blazed through the City of Bastrop, burning 1600 homes to the ground and destroying a wonderful Loblolly Pine forest while burning up some 40 thousand acres. The majority of the homes that were destroyed were scattered within the forested area of Bastrop. Bastrop is noted for it’s historical buildings and is quite a tourist attraction. Fortunately this part of Town was left unscathed thanks to the efforts of the fire fighters.
We were a roving convoy of cycling tree planters, vans, trucks carrying trees, mulch and equipment. At 30 strong we planted over 200 trees in 2 days…just before a wonderful rain storm. The trees were planted on residential sites, that looked much like a moon scape, with most or all of the forest trees dead, still standing with their trunks charred black. We planted 12 to 15 foot Live Oak trees from Louisiana and several native species from local nurseries, all donated to the cause. All that was left of most of the houses was a concrete foundation. The folks who lived here lost most everything, some even their lives, as the fire was fanned by 50 mile an hour winds so there was little notification…if any.
The purpose of Bastrop reTREEt was to help give hope to those trying to rebuild by giving them new trees and much needed hope. Spring 2012 is anxiously awaited as everyone wants to see how nature will recover.
This trip was very rewarding for all who participated, to have been able to really help folks in need was incredibly satisfying and because of this a Non Profit organization has been spawned…reTREEt America. The main focus of this organization will be to plant trees (reTREE) in areas throughout the Americas which have been the victim of a natural disaster.
Check reTREEt out on Facebook!