Cadets plant seedlings to restore Wolf Creek Dam disposal area
JAMESTOWN, Ky. – A determined group of Army Junior ROTC cadets from Pulaski County High School and Southwestern High School planted 4,000 seedlings as part of a once-in-a-lifetime environmental restoration opportunity at a disposal area near Wolf Creek Dam today.
Over the span of a seven-year rehabilitation project at the dam, the Corps disposed rock and soil removed from the earthen portion of the dam into a 30-acre plot of land nearby the dam. Planting trees in the disposal area now serves to reestablish the area back to its original state.
Early in the morning, 53 cadets received a safety briefing from Ranger Tyler Matthews on planting procedures and how to safely use a dibble bar. A dibble bar is a “T” shaped bar inserted in the ground. It is rocked back and forth while also pushing down with a foot to create a hole large enough to plant a seedling.
The seedlings were purchased by Grider Hill Marina for this project as part of a mitigation plan for the construction of an additional parking lot at the marina.
Corps officials said planting the seedlings is vital for both soil erosion control and aesthetics of the area that visitors have come to expect and appreciate.
The cadets organized their ranks and delegated the tasks to carry the seedlings, plant them using the dibble bar, and then to place dirt around the roots.
Matthews said the cadets were able to give back to the environment and community through selfless-service, which stays with them for a lifetime. He added that the event is an overall success for the community, the environment and future sustainability of the region, and is a source of pride for the cadets.
“It’s an environmental impact the students are going to be able to come back 20 years with their family and say, ‘I had a hand in reestablishing that area.’ I feel it will have a positive impact on their lives and family when they can come back and see it,” said Sgt. 1st Class Stanley Andrews, Pulaski County High School Army Junior ROTC cadet.
The day’s work ended around 1:30 p.m. Cadets gathered to sit and relax while several parents rewarded them by grilling hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch.
With the work complete, generation after generation can enjoy the resources and habitat that was created in one day of hard work, and the cadets enjoyed the experience.
“We had fun learning to plant trees and how much space they need to grow,” said Maj. Bekkah Trachtenburg, battalion commander of Pulaski County High School Army Junior ROTC.
Lake Cumberland’s Corps of Engineers park rangers hosted the event and it took a lot of collaboration for the Junior ROTC’s volunteer work and Grider Hill’s mitigation plan to be executed. Other rangers assisting with the day’s events were Judy Daulton and Robert Hill.
(For news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District go to the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps.
Also follow Lake Cumberland on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lakecumberland.)
By Park Ranger Judy Daulton