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July 15 - - August 31, 2003

This sign welcomes visitors to the Augusta Forestry Center.

The Augusta Forestry Center is one of three tree farms operated by the Virginia State Department of Forestry. Both Augusta and Kent centers seek volunteers to help with the operation via the Workamper News.

The office is the smallest part of the tree operations. The shop is used for equipment maintenance and storage. The grading room is part of the packing and shipping facility.

Augusta grows more than forty different varieties of tree and shrub for sale to land owners and for reforestation projects. They ship more than five million seedling trees each year and they operate at a profit for the State of Virginia. There are ten fulltime employees (being cut back to six) and also five RV sites for volunteers.

The RV park is located in one of the seed production groves. Our home in site number 5. This is the vegitable garden located near the RV park for use by the resident volunteers.

Each RV site has a concrete patio, picnic table, water, sewer and both thirty and fifty amp electric service. The power is a solid 120V, even with both air conditioners in operation, although A/C is not often needed. There is even a vegetable garden for the use of the volunteer staff.

Two year old loblolly pine seedlings. Seedling black gum trees. Black locust trees planted three months ago.

In order to produce so many different trees, there are 188 acres of fields. But not all of the fields are for production of seedlings. To produce little trees one must first produce seeds. All across the property are stands of different trees for production of seeds to be used in planting the fields.

Rows of scotch pine seedlings nearing two years old. One of the many different tree seed production groves. Fields of seedlings with a seed grove behind it.

Liquid fertilizer is sprayed while sprinklers are in operation to prevent burning tree leaves. Rows of black gum trees to the left and white oaks to the right. Inmates from the state penitentiary pull weeds by hand.

Work-camping: This operation makes for a very pretty place to spend some time. Volunteers are only asked for ten hours of work time per person in return for your site and social gatherings are frequent. The work you do is pretty much up to each volunteer to choose and you track your own hours, working at what ever time period you choose. This is a very relaxed place to volunteer and it is in a great area for anyone who enjoys history. There were more historic sites within an hour's drive than you can ever visit in a few months, as well as two national parks.

There is a catch pond for spring water near the office and shop. The department welcomes visitors to both the farm and to the RV park,

For more information on the Virginia Department of Forestry please visit their web page.

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