Dogwood tree planting effort today in Palestine

Dogwood tree planting effort today in Palestine
Staff Reports

In an ongoing effort to protect and nurture Davey Dogwood Park and the tradition of the Dogwood Trails Celebration in Palestine, Anderson County Precinct 4 Commissioner Joey Hill started a special planting project in partnership with the Palestine Economic Development Corp.

The community and Dogwood Trails Celebration visitors may participate in the reforestation efforts noon to 4 p.m. today, according to a news release from the Palestine Economic Development Corporation.
Specified planting locations were selected and marked with orange flags. Once participants select a place to plant a tree, they will receive GPS coordinates so they can locate their tree and check its progress year after year. Those who participate in the tree planting on will be entered to win a diamond giveaway at the end of the day in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Dogwood Trails.

Discussions on how to help Davey Dogwood Park have occurred over the years, but these discussions reached a peak last year due to the drought in 2011 and the fungus attacks in 2010 that damaged many trees inside the park, officials said.

"We knew that extensive planting would need to occur to reforest the parts of the park affected," Anderson County Judge Robert Johnston wrote in the news release. 

Johnston added, "Our focus is on the long-term, and while the seedlings are a good base for reforestation, we realized early on we needed larger trees that produce blooms faster. Palestine Economic Development Corporation matched a one-for-one agreement on purchasing the mature trees we needed."

Lowes Home Improvement provided 300 trees that were planted along the 2.1-mile main road way in the park. Each grouping of trees consists of two or three trees in a pod, with a location chose for optimal growth. Planting was done by a county crew over a five day period in mid-February. The crew was assisted on the first day by the Anderson County Master Gardeners.

Other local community groups heard about the planting and donated volunteer time and money to join the effort. The Palestine Lions Club planted 15 trees along Spring Street, directly across from the Visitor Center; board members with the Texas State Railroad Authority planted trees at the Palestine Depot and members from the Palestine Junior Service League planted six trees at Reagan Park. 

These partnerships were coordinated by the Palestine Visitor Center and Main Street Manager Laura Westgate. 

"I have worked on this project since last Dogwood Trails and hit so many bumps, but it came together quickly when the right players were involved." Ms. Westgate said in the news release. "I am so grateful for the support of everyone who has made it work. Without them we would not have accomplished a 300-tree replanting project in such a short time! Our project is a true community project." 

For more information on the Davey Dogwood Park reforestation, the planting day or the park in general, contact the Palestine Visitor Center at 903-723-3014, or Anderson County Judge Johnston's office at 903-723-7406.


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