Along the coast of local bayous, stand husks of past cypresses: trees which protect the community from erosion, both of land and of hope. The Bayou Region is a community that doesn’t wait for others to save it, says one local farmer.
To combat this loss, Charles Gaiennie, of Lytle Farms, eRotaryCoastal, and Common Ground Relief, are encouraging everyone to come to the Lytle Farms, February 9, at 1 p.m., where those volunteers can help incubate 1,000 cypress trees in preparation for future planting. Lytle Farms is located at 1545 Dr. Beatrous Road, Theroit.
“What’s good about us, and about our community is that we are inclined to do something about it… we tend to go fix ourselves,” said Gaiennie. “It’s just the spirit of our communities and the people we have here.”
The husks of cypresses along roadsides deal a blow to local morale, said Gaiennie. Those who see it remember a time when the local area was lush and less of the terrain had washed away. He said he thinks people feel overwhelmed by the scope of the problem and though many want to act to stop the problem, they may not know where to begin. This is a small step, but has a big impact.
“Everyone wants to do something, but people don’t know exactly what to do,” said Gaiennie. “So here you go. Here’s a cypress tree, here’s a shovel, here’s a pot.”
Volunteers will create an above ground pond made of cinderblocks and other materials. The cypresses will be incubated in it to strengthen and prepare them for their natural habitat. According to Gaiennie, if planted too small the cypress mortality rate is pretty high, but given a jump start, the trees have a very high survival rate.
After about a year the cypresses will grow to roughly 6 feet and have a strong root system, at which point the volunteers are encouraged to return and plant the trees.
“People will literally be able to see their work over the generations,” he said. “I think it will transform a lot of people’s hearts and minds.”
Check out a video of the infant trees waiting for planting here: