updated: 5/4/2012 3:56:52 PM
A project aiming to plant one million trees to mark Indiana's 2016 bicentennial is off and running. In the first leg of The Indiana Tree Project, 8,000 seedlings are now in the ground near Martinsville in the Morgan-Monroe State Forest.
May 4, 2012
With a turn of a wheel and the turn of a few shovels, The Indiana Tree Project got off to an impressive start today with the planting of 8,000 seedlings at Morgan-Monroe State Forest near Martinsville in south central Indiana.
A tractor-drawn planter was used to place most of the hardwood seedlings, while DNR officials added a ceremonial touch using shovels—and elbow grease—for the project’s first scheduled planting.
“This is only the beginning, but what a tremendous beginning,” said Bourke Patton, executive director of the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation. “Just as these new trees will grow to maturity in the coming years, we will be working to grow the Indiana Tree Project to reach our objective of expanding the state forest system.”
The Indiana Tree Project is a partnership between the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation, the DNR Division of Forestry and Indiana citizens. The shared objective is expansion of the state forest system by planting 1 million new trees and acquiring 1,000 additional acres by 2016 to mark the bicentennial anniversary of Indiana statehood.
“This project fits with our mission to sustainably manage Indiana’s state forests,” said John Seifert, director of the DNR Forestry division. “The planting of these seedlings and many more to come will go a long way in benefiting our state forests environmentally, economically, aesthetically and recreationally.”
Launched in December, ITP invites all Hoosiers to participate. Each $10 donation covers the cost of acquiring land, purchasing and planting a hardwood sapling, initial maintenance of the planting site and administrative costs.
Businesses and organizations can also get involved. So far, Heritage Environmental Services, Vectren Corporation and the Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen’s Association have signed on as sponsors of multi-acre pledges.
The trees will be planted in a DNR-managed state forest property, and donors are given a unique tree identification number that allows them to view a satellite image of the acre where their tree is located.
Indiana’s state forest system was established in 1903 and was one of the first in the country. Today, DNR Forestry manages 13 properties covering more than 153,000 acres and has been certified by two independent organizations as conducting sustainable forestry management practices.
Morgan-Monroe is a 25,280-acre forest that was eroded and abandoned farmland before the state began acquiring it in 1929.
Other sites are Clark, Ferdinand, Greene-Sullivan, Harrison-Crawford, Jackson-Washington, Martin, Owen-Putnam, Pike, Selmier and Yellowwood state forests, and Deam Lake and Starve Hollow state recreation areas.
For more on the Indiana Tree Project, see theindianatreeproject.org.
For more on the state forest system and the work of the DNR Forestry division, see dnr.IN.gov/forestry.
For more on the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation, see IN.gov/inrf/.
Source: Indiana Department of Natural Resources