Fort Payne Students Improve DeSoto State Park

Posted on: 5:37 pm, February 8, 2013, by

DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – About two dozen Fort Payne High School students helped save an endangered species this week, simply by doing some yardwork.

They trimmed away overgrown brush and picked up sticks around pitcher plants.

The endangered plant lures bugs inside its leaves, traps them, and sucks out nutrients.

But parts of DeSoto Park where it grows are overcrowded with other vegetation.

“There’s a lot of extra brush growth that’s blocking out the light and it’s competing with the pitcher plants for the nutrients and water,” agri-science teacher Dan Groghan said.

“By coming in and clearing out this brush we’re giving the pitcher plant a better opportunity to survive in this area.”

Another half-dozen agri-science students who took a course in woodworking spent their time piecing together boards and concrete to build an eight-foot by ten-foot shelter for the back-country backpacking camp site.

Photo Gallery Expand 1 of 12
  • During the spring and summer, the pitcher plant looks like this. (Photo: Brittney Hughes, DeSoto State Park)

  • Bugs crawl in the tube-shaped leaves of the pitcher plant, which has hairs that point down to trap the insects inside. (Photo: Robert Richardson, WHNT)

  • The plant sucks nutrients out of the insects, and you can often find pieces of bug carcasses inside. (Photo: Robert Richardson, WHNT)

  • Pitcher plants are an endangered species. This one is marked with a metal stake. (Photo: Robert Richardson, WHNT)

  • Fort Payne High School students helped clear overgrown vegetation from around the pitcher plants. (Photo: Robert Richardson, WHNT)

  • Fort Payne High School students helped clear overgrown vegetation from around the pitcher plants. (Photo: Robert Richardson, WHNT)

  • The area started out looking like this... (Photo: Robert Richardson, WHNT)

  • ...and ended like this. (Photo: Robert Richardson, WHNT)

  • Other students built an 8'x10' shelter for the back country backpacking trail. (Photo: Robert Richardson, WHNT)

  • Other students built an 8'x10' shelter for the back country backpacking trail. (Photo: Robert Richardson, WHNT)

  • Other students built an 8'x10' shelter for the back country backpacking trail. (Photo: Robert Richardson, WHNT)

  • Other students built an 8'x10' shelter for the back country backpacking trail. (Photo: Robert Richardson, WHNT)

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