Indiana is well on its way to meeting a tree-planting goal that was set into motion by Gov. Eric J. Holcomb in 2020.
At the time, Gov. Holcomb charged the Indiana Department of Natural Resources with planting 1 million trees during the next five years. This spring 253,400 seedlings were planted on DNR properties, bringing the four-year planting total to 964,900.
“For more than 100 years, Indiana has worked continuously to grow the state’s forested land to build diverse ecosystems and preserve forests for future generations,” Dan Bortner, DNR director, said in a media release. “Under Gov. Holcomb’s leadership and with the help of our partners, we’ve planted historic numbers of new trees across the state, and we look forward to officially meeting the governor’s bold goal next year.”
The plantings of oak, black walnut and hickory, species that are in decline in Indiana, have been done throughout the state, primarily in state forests, as well as at Prophetstown and Summit Lake state parks, Hovey Lake Fish and Wildlife Area, Bluffs of Beaver Bend Nature Preserve and Spring Creek Seeps Natural Area.
As the seedlings grow, they create shrub/tree habitat for wildlife species that require early successional habitat, the majority of which are in decline, and form a natural carbon storage solution.
For more details on this initiative and how it works, visit on.IN.gov/forestIN.