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Rebuilding Storm-stricken State Park

Thousands of trees planted at Sam Houston Jones State Park

The efforts to rebuild the Sam Houston Jones State Park in Lake Charles could be seen in scale at the park on the chilly morning of 19 February 2022 when volunteers gathered to plant more than 5 000 trees. After Hurricane Laura in 2020 severely damaged the park grounds, the community began steps to bring back the cabins, pavilions, as well as the water and sewer systems. And essential to the park’s rebirth are the trees.

“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,” said TNC Stewardship Manager William DeGravelles in an interview with local news station KALB-TV

More than 80 percent of the park’s trees were irreparably damaged, according to Louisiana State Parks, which heavily impacts not only the park but the ecosystem it supports. 

Sasol partnered with Louisiana State Parks and the Nature Conservancy to donate funding, materials and resources to enable the event. Donations from Sasol included $10 000 to purchase magnolia trees that will line the entrance to the park. The official reopening of the park is expected in late May. 

“Sasol is proud to be a part of the replanting efforts for Sam Houston Jones State Park,” said Sasol Vice President of Operations Eric Walker. “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.”

More than a dozen Sasol employees and their families were among the volunteers who participated in the tree planting event. Sasol is proud to continue to support Sam Houston Jones State Park as part of our commitment to environmental stewardship.

Click here to read other articles on how Team Sasol is supporting fence-line communities in this area.

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