Replanting project underway at Reed Bingham - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Replanting project underway at Reed Bingham

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December 20, 2004

Cook County - Hundreds of pine trees have towered over Reed Bingham for more than 25 years but soon, they'll be cut down. "It will benefit the wildlife, it will benefit the park, and it will benefit the people who come out to the park," said Chet Powell, Park Ranger.

These trees are slash pines, but in a few months, they'll be replaced with more environmentally friendly trees, known as long leaf pines. "One of the things we know now is that certain animals depend on long leaf pines, gopher tortoises, quail, red cockaded woodpeckers which are really rare, and we're hoping this will bring some of those to the park," said Powell.

The long leaf pine project is a very tedious one, since this area is home to hundreds of endangered gopher tortoises. "We released 179 this year, and we want to be sure when we're working in this area we don't impact the gopher tortoise holes," said Powell.

Workers from the Georgia Forestry Commission are plowing fire breaks so the woods can be burned. This will make all of the habitats visible and protect them when it comes time to plant the new trees. "The sand from the gopher holes will be like neon signs standing out in the black backgrounds," said Powell.

The replanting is a long term project that will likely take about a year, but one that will keep Reed Bingham growing for decades to come.

posted at 4:45 P.M. by ashley.harper@walb.com