Thousands of Trees Planted at Sam Houston Jones State Park in Lake Charles
LAKE CHARLES, La (press release) – Volunteers today planted over 5,000 trees at Sam Houston Jones State Park in Lake Charles. The event is part of ongoing efforts to rebuild the park after Hurricane Laura caused severe damage in 2020. The storm caused 80% of the park’s trees to topple or be damaged beyond saving. Since the storm, crews have been working to build new cabins, pavilions, and upgrade water and sewer systems with a goal of reopening in the spring.
“Our team has done a tremendous job at Sam Houston Jones State Park, from clearing out all the downed trees and debris to rebuilding cabins, pavilions and other areas of the park,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “I’d like to thank all the volunteers for donating their time to help ensure we stay on track to reopen as soon as possible. Nobody wants to see Sam Houston Jones State Park open more than we do.”
Sasol in Lake Charles and The Nature Conservancy in Louisiana (TNC) donated funding, materials, and resources to make today’s tree planning possible. Sasol provided $10,000 to purchase containerized-magnolia trees planted near the park entrance. In addition, TNC lent their time and expertise by mapping the tree planting arrangement and coordinating the planting. Louisiana State Parks also purchased additional trees and shrubs for the event.
“Sasol is proud to be a part of the replanting efforts for Sam Houston Jones State Park,” said Eric Walker, vice president of operations. “The benefits of having more trees in our community go beyond beauty. Trees act as water and air filters, can slow down floodwaters, and provide shade for wildlife. The work of our volunteers, The Nature Conservancy and Louisiana State Parks will restore, preserve, and enhance local ecosystems, which is something we can all be proud of.”
In addition to today’s event, TNC and Citgo recently donated and coordinated the planting of over 5,000 longleaf pine trees at Sam Houston Jones State Park.
“We don’t need to tell anyone – Hurricane Laura was devastating, but it also offers an opportunity to shift course at Sam Houston Jones. Longleaf pine is more wind resistant than other native pines, and when properly managed, longleaf pine savanna is among the most biodiverse natural communities in North America,” said TNC Stewardship Manager William DeGravelles. “The Nature Conservancy is excited to work with the Office of State Parks to re-establish longleaf and other species and to restore savanna for the enjoyment and education of the public.”
About Sasol: Sasol is an international integrated chemicals and energy company headquartered in South Africa that leverages the talent and expertise of our more than 30,000 people working in 33 countries. We develop and commercialize technologies, and build and operate world-scale facilities to produce a range of high-value product streams, including liquid fuels, chemicals and low-carbon electricity. In North America, Sasol is headquartered in Houston and operates five satellite sites, including its largest facility in Lake Charles.
About The Nature Conservancy: The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners.