ACRES Land Trust on Wednesday said it reforested 106 acres of marginal farmland this spring, planting 55,000 native hardwood saplings on three of its regional nature preserves.
The reforesting, which includes sites near Huntertown and Auburn, set a new pace in the nonprofit's land management. Since 2016, according to a news release, it has reforested 165 acres, planting nearly 100,000 trees on six preserves during a period of extensive growth in the organization's work restoring and managing land.
“This is the most we've planted in a single year with our largest single-site planting, too,” said Casey Jones, director of land management for the organization's nearly 7,100 permanently protected acres. “As ACRES continues to acquire new land, our restoration work has rapidly become more efficient to meet our growing demand.”
ACRES planted trees, reforesting 80 acres of the Walter H. and E. Marie Myers Nature Preserve on Flowers Creek near Chili, 17 acres of the James P. Covell Nature Preserve south of Auburn and nine acres of the James M. & Patricia D. Barrett Nature Preserve near Huntertown.
The organization credits planning, donor investment and volunteer support for its increased pace in restoration.
“By hiring new field staff and purchasing heavy equipment, we have more time to plan our approach, coordinate efforts and prepare sites,” a statement from the organization said. “Plus, we can do simple things like pick up our own trees because we have a new trailer. When the weather cooperates and our forestry contractor shows up, we're ready to plant.”