CSX Railroad Funds Montgomery Tree Project

This article was originally published in the Alabama Urban Forestry Association’s Newsletter Plantings. It was submitted by Russell Stringer, City of Montgomery – AUFA Council District 3

Montgomery Trees, Inc, is an independent tree advocacy non-profit group in Montgomery, Alabama. This group is very active in urban forestry projects, partnering with the city to maintain Tree City USA status and conducting Arbor Day activities including a large seedling giveaway. They also raise funds to purchase and install street trees. These efforts are quite evident as you drive through downtown Montgomery.

This summer, the Alliance for Community Trees and CSX Railroad awarded a grant to Montgomery Trees. The grant was to be used to fund a riparian tree buffer along a stream within the City of Montgomery. Montgomery Trees quickly put these funds to good use.

Galbraith Mill Creek is an urban stream that flows through Lagoon Park in Montgomery. In recent years, a volunteer group incorporated as Lagoon Park Trails has begun building and maintaining walking and biking trails along this waterway, which is plagued with invasive species and sedimentation from stormwater runoff.

Galbraith Mill Creek was the perfect location and Lagoon Park Trails the perfect partner for this project. With funding from CSX Railroad through ACTrees, Montgomery Trees purchased 75 containerized baldcypress to plant as a riparian buffer. Montgomery’s Urban Forester, Alabama Forestry Commission personnel and local Boy Scouts were recruited to assist with the project. Dodging snow and ice, these trees were planted along an open area of creek bank, arranged as naturally as possible.

This project goes further than installing a tree buffer next to the creek. The addition of native riparian trees to act as a buffer and provide a canopy of shade over the creek will allow Lagoon Park Trails to remove and control invasive tree species along this section of stream bank, effectively killing two birds with one stone.

Montgomery Trees and Lagoon Park Trails are committed to making this an ongoing project. It’s one thing to talk about the importance of trees to our waterways, it’s quite another to put a tangible project on the ground. All parties involved with this project are to be commended, and special thanks to CSX Railroad for providing the funding through ACTrees which made this project a reality.

Read this quarter’s Plantings