Lufkin State School celebrates re-opening of Recreational Retreat

Carina Sanchez
Carina Sanchez

By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

POLLOK, TX (KTRE) – Hurricane Ike blew through East Texas, destroying the Lufkin State Supported Living Center's own recreational retreat.

Since then, several organizations including the Texas Forestry Association and the Logging Council have teamed up to clean up the debris, restoring the Woodland Retreat to its original glory.

Saturday, the State and Pineywoods Wild Turkey Federation hosted the 8th annual Bream Buster Challenge.

State school residents, along with more than 100 volunteers celebrated the park's re-opening.

"I like fishing," said 17-year-old Carina Sanchez.

She's no novice.

Within five minutes of casting her line, Carina catches three fish.

"I caught one!"

She and others enjoyed the retreat for the first time, since Hurricane Ike hit in 2008.

"Trees were over the road and it was unsafe for anyone to be back here," said Jim McReynolds, State Representative for District 12.

McReynolds helped get several organizations involved in the cleanup process.

Now the trees have been cleared, the roads re-paved. Eagle Scout Taylor Stroud is one of the volunteers lending a helping hand.

"We just cleaned it up, made sure that the pavilion was clean and we sanded some of the benches and tables," said Stroud.

"It will be used for daily fishing trips and other events such as this," said Community Relations Director for the Lufkin State Supported Living Center, Lynn Hopper.

Now people like Carina can enjoy the park once again.

If you are interested in visiting the Woodland Retreat, you can contact Hopper at 936-853-2759.

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