Texas A&M Leads Lost Pine Campaign In Bastrop

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On Labor Day weekend in 2011 horrific wildfires spread through Bastrop for nearly two weeks destroying the beautiful pine trees and homes in the Bastrop State Park.

"We have to remember that over 1600 homes and 2 lives were lost in this wildfire ranks as really the most destructive wildfire in Texas history and its going to take years for entire community to recover," said Pete Smith, Urban Forestry Program Manager for Texas A&M Forest Service.

That's why the Texas A&M Forest Service and the Aggie Replant student group will put in nearly 1.5 million pine seedlings by the end of this month. Saturday alone, they hope to place 30-thousand seeds in the ground.

Over the course of two weekends nearly 800 Texas A&M students will volunteer to restore the forest.

Pete Smith with the Forest Service is helping to coordinate the Lost Pines Campaign.

"Ninety-six percent of the land within the park burned and was damaged to one extent or another, some of it quite severe where we really have to step in help replant. This is one of those situations where we may not really be able to let nature take its course," said Smith.

Andrea Fonseca, a student leader with Aggie Replant is excited to help the Bastrop community.

"It's an inspiring feeling having that soil within your hands and knowing that your going to help out as many people with just this one tree or just a few trees," said Andrea Fonseca, Aggie Replant Lost Pines Campaign Project Coordinator.

Volunteers hope to make a difference, not only for the wildlife, but for future generations and future visitors to Bastrop.