ST. MARTINVILLE – Spring-breakers from Boston waded into a Louisiana swamp last Thursday to help plant 500 bald cypress trees donated by RPM Ecosystems, LLC, a nursery in Dryden, N.Y., and Restore the Earth Foundation of Ithaca, N.Y.
The college students were from Boston University, most of whom wore sneakers and jeans, recoiled with shrieks of joyful disgust as they squished in the pungent mud and sank, many of them, to their pockets in the still-chilly water of the swamp surrounding Spanish Lake.
Yet they slogged on, carrying spades and four-foot-tall cypress trees, following LSU professor John Day, an expert in coastal restoration.
“They chose on their spring break to come make a difference for the environment by helping restore your wetlands and learning all about the importance of wetland ecosystems not just for Louisiana but the nation,” said Leslie Carrere of Restore The Earth Foundation.
“Pretty great,” she said. “They are our stewards of the Earth for the future.”
RPM Ecosystems, LLC, and Restore the Earth Foundation have pledged 10,000 cypress trees for Louisiana. The first 1,500, which arrived earlier this month, were divided between Spanish Lake, Mandeville and coastal Vermilion Parish.