Friday, May 2, 2014
This spring, the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) hosted a land management educational program at the future McClellanville County Park, one of the agency’s undeveloped park properties.
Wildlife and forestry students from Horry Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) worked directly with area elementary school students to plant tree seedlings at the 813-acre future park property located off Hwy. 17N, south of downtown McClellanville.
About 30 elementary students from Cape Romain Environmental Education Charter School (CREECS) worked with the college students to plant longleaf pine, live oak, crabapple, persimmon, red bud, dogwood, and eastern red cedar seedlings.
HGTC wildlife and forestry professor Jim Westerhold purchased the seedlings from the South Carolina Forestry Commission. “Students will have the opportunity to observe these trees as they grow, and may someday share this experience with their children or grandchildren,” said Westerhold. The park is still years away from being open to the public, but it is his hope that CREECS students may return to their local county park and see trees that they planted.
Natural resource managers from CCPRC were also on hand to explain the importance of tree planting and active land management. The fruit trees and hard mast producers (e.g., live oak) planted as part of this effort will offer more food options for wildlife. Additionally, planting longleaf pine helps to reestablish one of the Southeast’s most characteristic plant species.