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TreesAcadiana to Canvas City Oaks with GPS

On Saturday, February 26, TreesAcadiana has scheduled a field operation to update the 75-year registry of the Live Oak Society with the added detail of global positioning system (GPS) coordinates and current measurements for those trees currently on the list.  Lafayette is credited with over 250 live oaks over 8 feet in circumference.  TreesAcadiana believes this represents a small percentage of the qualifying live oaks in Lafayette.

The Society’s registrar, Coleen Landry of New Orleans, affirms that having the GPS coordinates for the trees would be a very helpful addition of information to affirm and locate existing trees.

Anyone interested in helping with this project is encouraged to join the group by St. John Cathedral Oak at 9 a.m.  Depending on the number of volunteers, the group will be divided to target specific areas.  This will be a fun exercise for tree advocates, geocachers, and scouts.  In addition to those trees already registered, owners for unregistered trees will be asked if they want their trees registered and TreesAcadiana volunteers will help with the required measurements.

Participants are encouraged to bring tape measures, writing instruments, GPS devises, and clip boards if they have these readily available.  Other cities in Lafayette Parish are encouraged to do the same.  The Live Oak Society was initiated in Lafayette by the first president of UL-Lafayette in 1934.  According to TreesAcadiana Chairperson Sarah Schoefler, “Lafayette has many live oaks and it only stands to reason that the City should have one of the highest counts on the registry.”  She adds, “We hope to make that happen.”

The public is invited to join TreesAcadiana’s general meeting to take place at Pack & Paddle, 601 East Pinhook in Lafayette, on March 22 where Steve A. Shurtz, Urban Forestry and Landscape Manager for the East Baton Rouge City-Parish Department of Public Works, will address the group as keynote speaker with his focus on Louisiana’s heritage live oaks.  Steve has twice served as president of the Society of Municipal Arborists (SMA), is a past president of the Louisiana Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), was recently elected to the Board of Trustees of the ASLA, and is currently President of the Louisiana Urban Forestry Council. He recently completed his second term as a member of the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (NUCFAC), an advisory group to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

TreesAcadiana still encourages help funding the salvation of the Youngsville Heritage Oak with the purchase of one of Rodrigue’s timeless prints of the tree.  Silk-screened, limited-edition prints can be ordered online at www.GeorgeRodrigueFoundation.org.

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