Environmental Groups "Green Up" Pass Christian - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Environmental Groups "Green Up" Pass Christian

PASS CHRISTIAN (WLOX) -- Young people with the Conservation Corps spend the morning Wednesday breaking a sweat and getting their hands dirty. Their planting project will make Bayview Street better.

"Better trees. Better air. Better environment," said Conservation Corps member Asa Salley from Arkansas.

"Think it's good enough so we can plant the tree?," asked a young Eddie Meyers.

Meyers and his friend T.J. Webster from St. Martin are the youngest tree planters, aged eight and nine.

As you might imagine, with young boys, it's mostly about the dirt. Tree planting is a license to get dirty.

"You get to dig," said Webster matter-of-factly.

Sarah Grieb doesn't mind the digging. The college graduate from Indiana is doing something she loves: connecting with the outdoors.

"I was taken to state parks since I was a kid. And I've always loved working outside. So, it's an opportunity to exercise some of my ideals and get some work in outside," says Grieb.

New growth along Bayview will help replace the enormous numbers of trees claimed by Katrina.

"Pass Christian not only lost 80 percent of its houses and buildings, but a huge majority of their trees. And shade is important, just getting our canopy back is so important for all kinds of economic reasons," said Gayla Schmitt with the Nature Conservancy.

Statistics aside, there's a more simple reason these new trees are so welcome.

"I think it's important because I really feel better looking at green, than brown," said Schmitt.

The Nature Conservancy of the Mississippi Coastal Plain supplied the trees for the planting in Pass Christian. The Urban Forestry Council helped organize the volunteers.

By Steve Phillips

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