City officials announce start of ReTreeLC program

Published 5:33 pm Monday, December 6, 2021

Lake Charles city officials joined Firestone Polymers and Resource Environmental Solutions to announce the start of ReTreeLC, an initiative that includes planting more than 350 trees at three city parks.

As part of the ongoing recovery from Hurricanes Laura and Delta, the trees and more than 2,000 native grasses will be planted at Hillcrest, Grace & Medora and Buddy Prejean parks. Firestone donated the trees, with company and city employees volunteering to plant them over the next few days.

Mayor Nic Hunter said one visual that stuck with him immediately after the hurricanes was seeing many of the trees in front of Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church on Lake Street ripped away. He said planting these new trees is another necessary step in rebuilding after Hurricanes Laura and Delta.

City Council President Rodney Geyen said the tree-planting effort will also benefit stormwater management in Lake Charles.

“These trees represent signs of hope and new life and help us usher in the holiday season and the new year,” he said.

Greg Defrates, Firestone Polymers director of operations, said this effort is one way to contribute to sustainability within the city. Firestone Polymers is a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas.

The planting will be overseen by the Baton Rouge-based Resource Environmental Solutions, along with Dana Brown and Associates, a landscape architecture firm.

Hunter said the city also plans to discuss a tree giveaway in April, also provided through Firestone Polymers. He encouraged residents to take part in the ReTreeLC initiative and said other programs will be available to teach about planting resilient, sustainable trees.

“We want to encourage people to plant the right types of trees, to plant them in the right fashion and to plant them in the right location,” he said.

For more on ReTreeLC, call the city at 491-0903.