Planting with the Wetlands Tree Foundation

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We recently received the following update from Blaise Petzold with the Wetlands Tree Foundation, with whom Camp Restore volunteers have partnered over the past several years to plant trees in St. Bernard Parish.

While rebuilt and improved levees and floodwalls are an important part of our hurricane protection system, our wetlands are also of critical importance.

Areas planted by volunteers with the Wetlands Tree Foundation are highlighted in Red.
Tree planting has taken place alongside the Army Corps of Engineers levee in St. Bernard Parish (white line). The Mississippi River Gulf Outlet is the man-made water channel at the top of the photo. Areas planted by volunteers working with the Wetlands Tree Foundation are highlighted in Red.

From Blaise:

I am writing on behalf of the Wetlands Tree Foundation. Our goal is to protect and re-establish Coastal Forest in Louisiana. In the last two years our foundation has planted 1,350 trees in St. Bernard Parish. We planted Cypress, Live Oak, Red Maple, River Birch and Sycamore, all of which are native species. The geographical area we plant is called the MRGO spoil bank. It is essentially a large man-made ridge and is full of invasive species. Our foundation seeks to re-establish native forests because they are an essential part of Louisiana’s Coastal Lines of Defense. The Coastal Lines of Defense is a multi-layered approach to battling hurricane storm surge and wind gusts.

Our work is grueling and intense, with a large amount of heavy lifting. We also face swarms of biting insects and the elements. The young men and women from Camp Restore have been literally our driving force. These kids come down from all over the country with a great attitude and a willingness to work. The volunteers have contributed through potting of seedlings, maintenance of our tree nursery, loading the trees for transport, unloading them, moving them through “chain gangs” and planting them in the ground. Without the Camp Restore groups we would not have been able to complete any of our foundations’ goals.

Thank you for your time,

Blaise Petzold
Scientific Coordinator
Wetlands Tree Foundation

Further down the MRGO, additional plantings have been made at Hopedale.
Plantings have also been made at Hopedale where Bayou LaLoutre meets the MRGO (purple).
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