Aggies Bring New Life to Bastrop State Park

A look at the extensive damage to Bastrop State Park.
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BASTROP- Just off Highway 21 in Bastrop is a charred state treasure...with a bright future.

What may look like a damaged field of dreams in Bastrop State Park is being given new life, thanks to Aggies.

"To have the Aggies come travel from hours away it's really touching," said Superintendent of Bastrop State Park Jamie Hackett.

As many as 600 students with the Aggie Replant organization from Texas A&M are teaming up with the Texas A&M forest service over the next two weekends to plant trees in an area of the park that has not been the same since wildfires ravaged the area back in 2011 and destroyed most of the vegetation.

"The area here that the Aggies are replanting is one of the most damaged within the park," Hackett said.

The process is simple. Dig a hole. Place the tree. Mark it with a flag. Repeat more than 10,000 times and in 40 to 50 years, the forest will be good as new. Hackett says the forest before the fire was 80 years old.

This is the second time in as many years that Aggies have come out to plant trees at Bastrop.

"I can't wait to come back to the park in a few years and just kind of see the little trees I planted be bigger trees," said student and Director of Aggie Replant Katharina Moeller.

Being so close to Longhorn country, there's room for good-natured jesting.

"We think it's kind of cool because they asked us to help...and not the Longhorns," Moeller said.

Still, though, Moeller and her fellow Aggies can branch out to help those in need.

"We like to help where we can so I guess even if it were in Austin we'd still be helping," said Moeller.