Reforestation effort begins at WP Franklin Park

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A reforestation project is taking place at WP Franklin Recreation Park.

Reforestation has started on the eight-and-a-half-acre park. The mission is to plant 24,000 little pollinator plants.

“Down there, you can see the coreopsis, which are those yellow flowers,” said Megan Parsons, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers park ranger.

The project started in September, days before Hurricane Ian roared ashore.

“Surprisingly, these little baby plants did really well. I mean, some had to be kind of packed back down, but these are all originals. I mean, we had a really high survival rate of our 3,000 trees,” Parsons said.

Engineering with nature is an initiative through the Army Corps of Engineers. They’re starting to see nature flourish beyond what they plant.

“The cool part about this project is that once we stop mowing, a lot of our native species that we didn’t even plant have started to come up,” Parsons said. “An example of this is they’re nicknamed ‘Touch Me Nots,’ but you can actually touch them. They’ll close up and they get these really pretty little fluffy purple flowers.”

Those flowers and native plants attract important insects, which is good for them and great for us.

“We’ll have bees, butterflies and different insects. It’ll help them with basically habitat and food,” Parsons said. “These are all of our baby plants for right now, but give it another 10-15 years we’ll have a new forest; we’ll have a trail, and it’ll be a really nice spot for the community to come hang out.”

If you’re interested in attending the event you can pre register by reaching out to Megan Parsons

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