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Sam Houston EC News

Operation Round Up Grant Awarded to Friends of Lake Livingston

Sam Houston EC gives back to the state’s second largest lake

Friends of Lake Livingston received a $1,000 grant from Sam Houston Electric Cooperative’s Operation Round Up. The organization will use the funds to continue improving the health of Lake Livingston and the wildlife that live there.

“Friends of Lake Livingston is a fully volunteer nonprofit organization with over 200 student and adult volunteers across five counties around Lake Livingston,” said Beth Miller, the organization’s communications director. “The project is in its fifth year and expects to continue indefinitely as an ecorecovery effort creating self-sustaining riparian and aquatic habitat on Texas’ second-largest lake.”

The check was awarded Thursday, August 15, while 20 volunteers planted more than 1,700 plants in a protected cove inside the Carolina Creek Christian Camp.

“The team included members of Piney Woods Lake and Heartwood Master Naturalists, SJC Master Gardeners, Lee College horticulture instructors, Trinity River Authority, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department,” Miller said. The group planted American water willow, hyssop, bulrush, sea oat grasses and water lilies on a sandbar peninsula in the area and set wire pens and T-posts to help the plants establish strong root systems.

“The penning increases the survival rates [of the plants] when the water level fluctuates,” Miller said, adding that the area flooded in June under 5 feet of water. “A rock/gravel bluff across from the sandbar was planted with 20 buttonbushes, 50 bald cypress, cherrybark oak and pecan trees to decrease bluff and shoreline erosion by creating a strong root barrier.”

Friends of Lake Livingston works with eight local school districts, master naturalists and other volunteers to grow plants that will stabilize shorelines and reduce erosion. The plants provide ideal habitat for fingerling fish as well.

The nonprofit also works with inmates at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Ellis Unit to grow additional plants through Lee College’s horticulture program.

The Operation Round Up grant provides funds for pots, soil and other supplies for growing more plants.

Learn more about Friends of Lake Livingston at their website, friendsoflakelivingston.net.

To support this organization, and other nonprofit groups in Sam Houston EC’s area, join Operation Round Up. Visit SamHouston.net to sign up to round up your bill to the next dollar each month. The spare change goes to support nonprofit organizations working to improve the quality of life in Sam Houston EC’s 10-county service area.