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Posted 4/19/2017

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Article by Kat Pavolillo

Photos by Kyle Kraynak and Josie McKenna

Members of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources with cooperation of the American Chestnut Foundation, and employees from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District partnered to plant more than 100 chestnut tree seedlings at Mosquito Creek Lake, March 31.

The environmental stewardship collaborative effort resulted in 77 seedlings being planted on corps owned and operated lands and 28 on corps-leased land at Mosquito State Park.

These chestnut trees are a genetic cross breeding of 94 percent American Chestnut and six percent Chinese Chestnut. The hybridization was done with the intent of withstanding the blight that eradicated the American Chestnut species. The planting was done with the hope of successfully reintroducing the American Chestnut Tree to the area.

Greg Chopko, a member of the American Chestnut Foundation and resident of the area was the coordinator of the event.

ODNR Service Forestry Coordinator, Stephen Rist, oversaw care and planting of the seedlings. Park rangers from Shenango Lake also assisted the Mosquito Lake team in the planting.

The majority of the corps trees was planted in a protected grove-like setting, while five trees were located in public areas and will be accompanied by an interpretive sign donated by a local business, Psycare.

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