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Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge Plants 1000 Trees with Volunteers
Midwest Region, October 15, 2011
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Volunteers help plant trees on the Cora Island Unit of the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.
Volunteers help plant trees on the Cora Island Unit of the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. - Photo Credit: Photo by Tim Haller/USFWS.
Trees were loaded onto a trailer to transport to various planting site on the Cora Island Unit of the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.
Trees were loaded onto a trailer to transport to various planting site on the Cora Island Unit of the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. - Photo Credit: Photo by Tim Haller/USFWS.
A volunteer plants a tree at the Cora Island Unit of the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.
A volunteer plants a tree at the Cora Island Unit of the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. - Photo Credit: Photo by Tim Haller/USFWS.

Saturday Oct. 15, 2011, a beautiful fall day, was the perfect backdrop for the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge Refuge Week celebration.

The Cora Island Unit is located in eastern St. Charles County just north of St. Louis, Mo. The 1,265 acre unit became part of the refuge in early 2010, it is the refuges newest addition. Agricultural production dominated the land and the trees planted will give the Unit a head start on re-establishing wildlife habitat.

“In addition to providing food and shelter for wildlife the trees will help shade out invasive plants thriving in open areas once used for agriculture,” expalined Wildlife Biologist and project lead Jestin Clark.

Twenty volunteers from diverse organizations such as Friends of Big Muddy, The Greenway Network, Master Naturalists and the Sierra Club planted 1000 trees. The trees included various native species including Burr Oak, Swamp White Oak, Black Walnut, Pecan and Pin Oak.

Grown at a local nursery, the trees are invigorated with the Root Production Method or RPM. The RPM maximizes their growth potential by establishing a large root mass in gallon pots of enriched soil. Many of these trees using this method are already six feet tall when planted. Because of the large size and hard ground, holes for planting the trees were augured prior to the planting day.

Funding for the trees came from the Midwest Region invasive species program. Trees provide the most cost effective and natural control of many invasive plant species in this part of the region.

“Once established, these trees will save countless hours of costly herbicide application,” said Clark, “saving the Refuge time and money.’


Contact Info: Tim Haller, 573-441-2799, tim_haller@fws.gov



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