NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The chilly morning started with a Gator ride from University Park Plaza to the North Lanana Creek Trail.
“There’s a big bump. Y’all hold on,” warned a passenger.
After a short ride, the surroundings were a nature sanctuary close to urban life.
It was where volunteers showed up early to plant 100 trees on Arbor Day.
"We just planted a Mayhaw tree. Woo-hoo," joked Angela Wiederhold, the chair of the Garden Capital of Texas Committee in Nacogdoches.
The organization is responsible for purchasing the trees using proceeds from the spring home garden tours
“The last five years, we’ve earned the designation of a Tree City USA. That means we’ve met rigorous standards to be planting a large number of trees," Wiederhold said. "We have a number of hours donated and the number of hours the city is involved in maintaining the trees.”
Other groups, businesses, individuals, and state and city personnel participated.
This year, several open areas were selected along the lesser-known portion of the Lanana Creek Trail, and for good reason.
“It’s in a flood plain. It’s lowland, bottomlands, and there’s a lot of water that comes through here," explained Dawn Stover, with SFA Gardens.
As the trees grow, they'll provide stability for the soil. And cut down on maintenance of tall grasses.
Perhaps just an important, the Arbor Day event sets an example that prompts similar tree plantings.
“We plant the trees in public places, and then you look around and other organizations and churches and different groups are planting trees on their property,” said Wiederhold. “People see what you are doing, and they want to be a part of it.”
Over 700 trees have been planted in the last five years in various locations by the volunteers.