Vigo County to plant 1,000 trees, 500 shrubs

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Howard Greninger, The Tribune-Star, Terre Haute, Ind.
·2 min read
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Apr. 27—Vigo County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved a mitigation plan and amended agreement with the Indiana Department of Transportation to plant more than 1,000 trees and 500 shrubs as part of a wetland mitigation agreement.

The agreement is part of the work for a 1.17-mile elevated walkway, under construction and slated for completion this summer, between West Terre Haute and Terre Haute on the south side of U.S. 150.

"This is for the trees that were cut down for the trail. Any time you do work in a flood plain, to get a permit to do that work, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources will require a planting back, which in this case I believe is being done on a four to one replacement" replacing four trees/shrubs for every single tree or shrub cut, said Vigo County Engineer/Highway Director Larry Robbins.

"(The DNR) looks at an approved area that is hopefully in the same area to create a new habitat for the trees/shrubs we are removing," Robbins said. "INDOT will do this work, but the county is on the hook for 20 percent of construction costs... so they ask us to approve these agreements. It is the next step toward completing this (elevated walkway) project."

The elevated trail impacted about 1.7 acres of non-wetland forest. Under the agreement, approved by commissioners, the county will use about 5 acres of land owned by the county parks and recreation department to plant 1,080 trees and 540 shrubs.

Trees will be planted in two parcels located about 0.17 mile southeast of the eastern portion of the trail at Schley Place. The northern parcel is 2.35 acres site with 1.78 acres to be used for mitigation and 0.57 acre of preservation. The southern parcel is 3.56 acres with 1.79 acres for mitigation and 0.86 acre of preservation.

Plantings for canopy trees include 160 swamp white oak; 160 red maple; 155 hackberry; 153 bur oak; 152 shumard oak; 150 shellbark hickory and 150 American sycamore. Shrub species to be planted include 108 American horbeam; 108 American elderberry; 108 gray dogwood; 108 roughleaf dogwood and 108 cockspur hawthorn.

The mitigation site will also be planted with herbaceous ground cover to reduce weed competition and provide soil stabilization. Also, INDOT mitigation site "Do Not Disturb" signs will be installed around the perimeter of the restoration area at 100 foot intervals to protect the site.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com. Follow on Twitter@TribStarHoward.