ArborGen, the world leader in the development and commercialization of technologies that improve the productivity of trees, today announced that it has formed a long-term partnership with the College of Charleston Foundation to support its forest conservation and restoration efforts at Dixie Plantation. In a show of support, ArborGen has agreed to donate 75,000 Longleaf Pine seedlings, which will be planted during the winter 2012-2013 on 144 acres of Dixie Plantation.
“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 fresh-water 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.”