Final Day for Aggie Students in 'Replant' of Bastrop State Park

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A state park destroyed by a wildfire is getting some much needed help. For the past two weekends, hundreds of Aggies have taken it upon themselves to help replant the Bastrop State Park.

"It was definitely a huge deal to see all of the devastation," said Texas A&M senior Julia Griswold.

Over a year and a half ago, smoke could be seen from miles away as flames destroyed the park. It ranked as one of the most destructive wildfires in Texas history and burned thousands of acres. Texas A&M students are hoping to spring life from the ash that remains in the forest.

Julia Griswold grew up hiking with her parents in the state park. She said she didn't realize the true destruction of the fire until she was standing there first hand.

"I have seen the devastation before from the highway, but I didn't realize that over 96 percent of the forest was destroyed by the fire until I got there," Griswold said. "Just to see how many seedlings were there... and even though we won't get to see the direct influence of that, in 80 years they will be fully grown."

Griswold says her service organization, Maggies, planted more than 500 pine tree seedlings per nine acres on Sunday. They joined other volunteers from Aggie Replant on the final day. Aggie Replant is headlining the effort and plans to plant 30,000 pine tree seedlings in hopes to restore the state park.

"To know we were part of that and our kids and grand kids will experience it, it was really cool," Griswold said.