Oak trees in Lake Charles now protected by endowment

oak tree endowment

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - With urban growth, sometimes natural beauty gets lost along the way.

The oak trees along the Central School property in Lake Charles have been around for over a hundred years and haven’t seen the proper care they need.

The sight of sunshine glimmering through the branches is something Laura Leach says filled her childhood memories. Now a chairman for friends of Central School, Leach said she grew up right down the street from and attended central school as a girl.

"We kind of took it for granted,” Leach said. “When I was growing up there was no air-conditioning and every day the fresh smells of nature cam in your window. We were around the trees so much and I think a lot of us as we've got older, it has become more important for us to appreciate what nature has given us and preserve it."

She says there are 63 oak trees that bring life into this section of Lake Charles. But she says their roots, their limbs, their overall health needs to be monitored.

“The oak trees at central school are something that many groups are concerned about, they want to see them preserved,” Mayor Nic Hunter said. “But the city of Lake Charles, we have so many priorities, it’s hard for us to focus on one thing like that.”

The City of Lake Charles, the friends of central school and coastal plains conservancy are putting together a $100,000 endowment for these trees. As the interest builds, that money will then be used to preserve this green space.

Hardtner Klumpp from the coastal plains conservancy says taking action now will keep these trees alive and well for years to come.

"These are mature oak trees and they have a long time to go as long as we take care of them properly,” Klumpp said. “Oak trees are absolutely resilient, and they can go through a whole lot. These are very special trees. We want them to be here for our kids and our grand kids."

“We need to be able to take care of them individually,” Leach said. “So it’s up to us now to take care of them.”

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