7,000 trees replanted across from Escambia County High

Published 10:18 pm Wednesday, February 22, 2006

By By Janet Little Cooper
The demolished property on the corner of Lindberg Avenue and Presley Street owned by the Escambia County Alabama School Board is getting a face-lift.
Unfortunately, it will take some time to see the results of the transformation. Students from the Escambia Brewton Career and Technical Center have recently planted 7,000 trees in the seven-acre area.
The property sustained major damage from Hurricanes Ivan and Dennis resulting in the county clearing the property leaving behind mounds of unsightly debris. Allen Whitman, Forestry Instructor with the EBCTC was called in by Superintendent Buck Powell to replant the damaged area.
"This used to be a walking track and I have been told that many years ago it was a pecan orchard," Whitman said. "The county wanted to replant it. I guess they can eventually use it for timber and mainly just to reestablish it and bring life back to the property while making it look better in the process."
Whitman and more than 15 of his students from W.S. Neal and Flomaton High School worked for four days planting the Loblolly pine trees that were purchased by the county.
"The other teachers were nice enough to agree to this," Whitman said. "We have worked all day. The students do the work too. Students mark the area with spray paint hoping to keep the lines somewhat straight and then another student uses a dibble to make a hole, followed by another student who places the tree in the hole."
The Loblolly pine is a large tree, growing up to 100 feet tall and is one of the most common pine trees in the south.
According to Whitman, his forestry class plans to maintain the property for the county.
"We have agreed to spray herbicide," Whitman said. "To keep the weeds and vines out until the pines are large enough to grow over them. It will probably span a three to five year period of upkeep."
Whitman teaches a Forestry and Wildlife Science class that serves as college prep for students who are interested in entering the Forestry field upon high school graduation.
"Most of my students are boys who hunt and fish," Whitman said. "They like to be outdoors and are hoping to pursue a degree in forestry or as a forestry technician."

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