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Plant nearly 3,000 native trees, help restore canopy at W.P. Franklin Recreation Area

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers invites volunteers to plant trees at W.P. Franklin Recreation Area on National Public Lands Day, Sept. 24

There will be nearly 3,000 native trees available for planting at the W.P. Franklin Recreation Area in Alva on Sept. 24 for the 29th annual National Public Lands Day.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District invites volunteers to help with the plantings from 7:30 a.m. through 4 p.m. at the recreation area, 1661 S. Franklin Lock Road in Lee County.

“We welcome volunteers of all ages to help us plant trees in an effort to reforest roughly 8.5 acres of land to create a natural hardwood hammock habitat at the W.P. Franklin Recreation Area as part of our Engineering with Nature Program,” said Col. James Booth, Jacksonville District Commander.

The day will be one of several opportunities for people who would like to volunteer to plant and restore native canopy and understory plants and grasses in an open area at the recreation area.

Please RSVP to Natural Resources Specialist Rob Hill at 863-800-7680 or Robert.R.Hill@usace.army.mil.

Volunteers should wear closed-toe shoes and clothes that are appropriate for digging and getting dirty and a pair of gloves if you have them. Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own shovel or other gardening equipment.

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers invites volunteers to plant trees at W.P. Franklin Recreation Area on National Public Lands Day, Sept. 24
“We welcome volunteers of all ages to help us plant trees in an effort to reforest roughly 8.5 acres of land to create a natural hardwood hammock habitat at the W.P. Franklin Recreation Area as part of our Engineering with Nature Program.”
Col. James Booth, commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District

Also suggested is sunscreen, a hat, and any other sun protection, plenty of water, and a packed lunch. Water will also be provided. The planting will be held rain or shine.

Volunteers are required to review an Activity Hazard Analysis and sign volunteer forms prior to the event.

The planting project developed after the Jacksonville District’s Natural Resources Program started brainstorming ideas on how to reduce the operation and maintenance costs for recreation assets such as those at the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam.

“This project is one of those ideas, finally come to fruition: planting native vegetation to reforest an area, reducing the need for mowing, which in turn reduces the use of fossil fuels and saves taxpayer dollars. That’s engineering with nature,” said Nelson Colón, manager of the Natural Resources Program.

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