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Land management team spruces up Magnolia Branch Wildlife Reserve

land_management Spring is here, and summer is fast approaching. With that comes gorgeous weather and the need to be outdoors. Birds are chirping, the creek is bubbling and calmness settles in as the sun beams through the trees and warms the Earth. If you close your eyes, you just might can picture yourself stretched out in a hammock feeling the breeze rush over you as your children run around and play.

Magnolia Branch Wildlife Reserve has been in full swing preparing the park for visitors. The horse trails opened up in March, and the campground has been filling up with RVs and tents as families and friends gather to relax and enjoy the peacefulness.

Canoes, kayaks, tubes, primitive and improved camps … you name it, Magnolia Branch has it. And recently, the park has been continuing its efforts to keep the grounds pristine and beautiful by applying hydroseed to areas that need it. Hydroseeding is a mechanical method of applying seed, fertilizer and mulch to land in one step.

The lake area at Magnolia Branch was prepped and cleared for the job. This project was done by the CIEDA land management team, led by Project Coordinator James Agerton, in conjunction with Magnolia Branch Wildlife Reserve General Manager Billy Smith. The team has been working on various projects at Magnolia as well as property adjacent to the park and at other CIE businesses. Heavy equipment operators on the team are Andrew McGhee, Jerry Searcy, David Sells, John Sells, Richard Guy, Ronnie Howell, Randy Wearran; heavy equipment mechanic Ron Marshall rounds out the group.

“John Sells has been using a CAT Skid Steer to clear out the entire understory around the lake at Magnolia Branch Wildlife Reserve,” Agerton said. “John has done a great job opening up the area and making it look like a resort.”

Reese Dunn with M&M Trucking was brought in to apply the hydroseed. He covered ground quickly and efficiently, spraying high and low in a methodical pattern. Once finished, the area was coated in green mixtures that will turn into a green lawn within a few weeks.

This work is part of the lake reclaimation project that will allow the reserve to reclaim previously unusable soil and land within the park and expand it into more usable lake areas for visitors. Hydroseeding is environmentally friendly, and there are no adverse effects to wildlife.

For more about Magnolia Branch Wildlife Reserve, read their blogs and check out the website at

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