Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians awarded tree assistance program

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Last year’s drought killed millions of trees across Mississippi, but some help is on the way for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and five other communities to plant new trees and take care of the ones that are still growing.

The Mississippi Forestry Commission is partnering with the Virginia based nonprofit Green Infrastructure Center for the Trees Mississippi program.

“We’ll have some planning to start things off that looks at things like, where are the greatest needs, when you look at your tree canopy, where do you have gaps and need trees most,” said Misty Booth, a community forester for the Green Infrastructure Center

Booth said the program can have a real impact, especially on smaller communities.

“It means help for them that they might not have gotten otherwise in areas that maybe they don’t get to focus on very often because you’re having to prioritize things. And quite frankly, trees and green assets don’t always make the top of the list.”

“There is federal funding to pay for the program, including the trees to be planted, the labor. We will be supplying some of that, but then we’ll also be engaging the community to hopefully have volunteers that help with the effort.”

Trees Mississippi will begin this year in Gulfport, Laurel, and Natchez with work beginning in 2025 in Kosciusko, Amory, and communities of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

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