Healthy land is the basis for multiple industries in Mississippi, and critical to the state economy. A natural disaster or severe weather event in one area can affect the entire state. For individual landowners, land damage can be devastating, both personally and financially.
GreenTrees, an organization dedicated to reforestation, is helping local landowners recover from land damage, improve soil quality, and create a stronger, more sustainable ecosystem across Mississippi. Its focus is on the Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV) specifically, with a goal of reforesting 1,000,000 acres.
How it Works
Reforestation and replanting help landowners maintain healthy soil, better control the flow of rainwater, and restore a fragile ecosystem. Essentially, healthy soil is necessary for growing healthy plants. In addition to providing nutrients and root support, it also regulates moisture levels and helps prevent invasive weed growth.
However, if the land holds too much water, it can be damaging to plants and trees. When soil is eroded by wind and rain, it makes it more difficult for new seedlings to grow. The replanting process is vital for land health, soil retention, and providing essential nutrients for the growth of new trees.
Why it Matters
The MAV’s importance extends beyond state lines. It’s home to 60% of migratory birds and multiple endangered species. It’s considered the “American Amazon” for its biodiversity and vital role in national climate health.
Reforesting helps Mississippi economically, at the state and individual levels. For every $1 million invested in reforestation, nearly 40 new jobs are created. And at the individual level, reforestation can provide an income source for MAV landowners and farmers. This is especially important following the $2 billion in damage caused by the “Great Flood” of 2019.
“To me, reboot (replanting) efforts are there to make a positive impact on local ecology and serve as a way to follow through with our commitment to plant a healthy timber stand, whatever the expense.”Steve Burgess, GreenTrees forester
In the 2021-2022 planting season, GreenTrees helped numerous landowners through its DRAFT program, which successfully replanted over 2,000 acres. This is the equivalent of a quarter of a million dollars, provided at no cost to farmers or landowners. The replanting process is time-consuming and requires careful planning, but it is essential for the long-term health of the ecosystem. The GreenTrees team will continue helping landowners by replanting the trees on their land at no cost to them.
As one example, GreenTrees replanted 52 acres in Flowood, Mississippi. The team stayed involved and analyzed the progress, determining that a second interplanting of sweetgums would help the land thrive. The growth of newly replanted land will support global climate change mitigation efforts, while providing the Hines family with healthier land, and a habitat for birds and wildlife.
Beyond the financial impact, the GreenTrees efforts help provide landowners with peace of mind. Funds are allocated specifically for hardwood reforestation planting. Anyone interested can contact GreenTrees foresters Bickham Crooks and Steve Burgess: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com