Norfolk Southern is partnering with GreenTrees LLC on a five-year, $5.6-million reforestation and carbon sequestration program. The program, which is designed to offset a significant portion of the railroad company’s CO2 emissions, will plant more than 6 million trees on 10,000 acres in the Mississippi Delta.
The more than 6 million native hardwood and cottonwood trees break down to 211 trees per Norfolk Southern employee, 299 trees for each mile of Norfolk Southern track or 1,450 trees per Norfolk Southern locomotive. The trees will be planted on privately owned land in Mississippi and Louisiana.
Chandler Van Voorhis, managing partner of GreenTrees, explains the process: “We take one acre at a time and compress time and space to accelerate forest growth by six to eight times in the critical first 15 years, creating an ecologically healthy and permanent forest in an area that is central to our national ecosystem interests.”
The densely packed forest, which consists of fast-growing trees, can improve the rate of carbon sequestration and timber development.
In addition to providing more than 1 million carbon offsets over time, the trees will also help protect wildlife habitats in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV), improve water quality and help conserve the land for future generations.
The GreenTrees partnership is just the latest forest-related initiative taken by Norfolk Southern. The railroad is also involved with The Longleaf Alliance, which focuses on the longleaf pine that was once a prominent fixture in the forests of the south. Norfolk Southern also supports the American Chestnut Foundation in its restoration efforts.