Pine Lake State Park Reforestation Kickoff on May 2
Posted: 04/10/2012
ELDORA, Iowa - Pine Lake State Park will receive 7,000 seedlings and 120, 6-to 8-foot trees to replace those damaged during the 13 minute storm on Aug. 9, 2009, that devastated the park.

A ceremony and tree planting event is planned for May 2, beginning 9 a.m. with students from Eldora-New Providence High School planting 50, 6-to 8-foot trees in the campground.  The ceremony moves to the Pine Lake State Park lodge at 11:30 a.m. where Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is scheduled to attend from 11:30 a.m. to the event’s conclusion at 1 p.m.

The storm blew through the Eldora area with winds reaching 106 miles per hour and hail ranging in size from golf balls to larger than softballs that killed 98 percent of eastern white pine trees that the park is named for and defoliated 85 percent of the park, damaged campers, knocked out windows damaged roofs of the restored 80 year old park buildings.

The park damage totaled nearly $300,000.

The 7,000 seedlings will be planted in a nearby field where they will grow until needed in the park. A grant from the Arbor Day Foundation offset the cost of the seedlings but additional help is needed to plant, water and weed the seedlings. 

The 120 larger trees were purchased by the Iowa Parks Foundation.

“We will need volunteers to help us plant and maintain the remaining trees,” said Don Primus, park manager for Pine Lake. He said anyone who is interested should contact him at the park.

The reforestation project is a joint effort between the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Iowa Parks Foundation, Pine Lake Friends Group, Trees Forever, and dozens of citizens who make donations to the Iowa Parks Foundation just for this park.