CHARLESTON – ArborGen has formed a long-term partnership with the College of Charleston Foundation to support its forest conservation and restoration efforts at Dixie Plantation.
On Friday, Arbor Day in South Carolina, Ridgeville-based ArborGen announced that it will donate 75,000 longleaf pine seedlings to the college’s foundation to support its conservation and restoration efforts at Dixie Plantation. The seedlings will be planted during winter 2012-13 on 144 acres.
“We are grateful for ArborGen’s partnership,” said George P. Watt Jr., executive director of the College of Charleston Foundation. “This generous support will further enable the foundation and the college’s mission to protect and preserve this “living laboratory” and vital Lowcountry habitat while providing educational benefits at Dixie Plantation for generations to come.”
Dixie Plantation is a historic 881-acre property along the Stono River and the Intercoastal Waterway. The myriad ecosystems include longleaf pine forests, wetlands, savannahs, tidal marshes, as well as brackish, saltwater and freshwater ponds.
Today, in collaboration with the Lowcountry Open Land Trust, the College of Charleston Foundation has embarked on a comprehensive plan to restore Dixie to its original purpose as a “conservationist’s classroom.” Native, diverse ecosystems will be restored and maintained to provide experiential learning and research opportunities for College of Charleston students and faculty.
Dixie Plantation enables the college to educate its students in an unparalleled natural setting; inspire collaboration across campus, industry and governmental agencies; and prepare students and faculty to be leaders in today’s environmentally volatile, global society.
“As a company dedicated to advancements in forestry, we commend the College of Charleston Foundation for doing a tremendous job preserving Dixie Plantation, and we are pleased to be a partner in the restoration efforts,” said Andrew Baum, president and chief executive officer of ArborGen. “One hundred and fifty years ago, longleaf was the dominant pine stretching through nine states from Virginia to Texas. Since then, its range has been greatly diminished.
“Both ArborGen and the College of Charleston Foundation are working diligently to change that and planting the 75,000 seedlings will not only help restore our region’s longleaf pine trees but also contribute to the region’s ecosystem.”
ArborGen is the largest global supplier of seedling products and a leading provider of improved technologies to the commercial forest industry. Through conventional breeding, improved genetics and emerging biotechnology advances, ArborGen is developing products that significantly improve the productivity of a given acre of land. These products enable ArborGen’s customers to grow trees that yield more wood per acre with greater consistency and quality in a shorter period of time.