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Volunteers plant 2,000 trees at Arboretum
PICAYUNE – Two thousand swamp gum seedlings are taking root in the Crosby Arboretum’s Gum Pond exhibit after an Earth Day celebration and planting party.
New South Access and Environmental Solutions donated the trees, and 24 employees and their family members volunteered to plant them into the arboretum’s Gum Pond educational exhibit on April 28.
The tree planting will help the arboretum to meet its mission of conservation and education, said Bob Brzuszek, associate professor of landscape architecture at Mississippi State University.
“The exhibit helps teach people about the value of the different types of wetlands,” said Brzuszek, whose students designed the exhibit site plan. “This habitat type is used by some endangered species, such as frogs. The trees provide another living place for species indigenous to Mississippi gum swamps. The trees will also help control erosion and clean the water.”
The arboretum relies heavily on volunteers to complete projects such as this one.
“Without New South Access and Environmental Solutions donating these trees and providing the manpower, we would not have been able to complete the tree planting so quickly,” said Pat Drackett, Crosby Arboretum director. “It would have been a much more gradual process.”
New South Access and Environmental Solutions is a Madison-based company, founded in 2006, that provides access matting that minimizes site disturbance by heavy equipment during construction projects, disasters, and events.
“We are an environmentally conscious company, and the arboretum’s mission of conservation mirrors ours,” said Barbara Davis, marketing director for New South Access and Environmental Solutions. “The Crosby Arboretum is the perfect fit for us, and we are thrilled this will be our first project.”
The tree planting was part of the arboretum’s Earth Day celebration which also included exhibits, presentations, and children’s activities related to conservation and restoration.
The new wetlands exhibit was made possible through grant funds from the Five Star Restoration program, administered by Southern Company in partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.