Although we lost some time (and participants) to heavy rain, the sun finally came out on Saturday and intrepid native plant fans from the Sierra Club, the Native Plant Society of Texas – Houston, the Native Prairie Association of Texas – Houston and Texas Master Naturalists who made it to the Sandy Unit of the Big Thicket Preserve were given some instructions, a dibble tool and a sack of longleaf pine seedlings. The dibble made short work of the wet, sandy soil and the trees went into the ground quickly. Since the start of the campaign in January, nearly 100,000 trees have been planted and, with a 60% seedling survival rate, the U.S. Forest Service project to return the Big Thicket to its original state is well on its way!
After the work was done, a walk in the forest revealed what these little seedlings should look like in a few years.
We also saw some beautiful, old specimens and were able to imagine the canopy of the past (and hopefully the future).
The next HNPAT field trip is August 13 – Wildflowers on the Blackland Prairie – don’t miss it!