Friends of Lake Livingston in Partnership with Lee College and the Ellis Correctional Unit are Making a Positive Impact on Aquatic Habitat and Instilling an Environmental Ethic in the Students from the Ellis Unit

Friends of Lake Livingston (FoLL) is a multi-partnership effort that includes Texas Master Naturalist (TMN) chapters (Livingston, Conroe, among others), the Ellis Correctional Unit and eight high schools. Friends of Reservoirs (FOR) has made several posts highlighting previous work by this ambitious group. The Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership and FOR has supported FoLL with two grants through the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP) and three FOR Small Projects Grants. The Lake Livingston project was recognized as a NFHP Waters to Watch in 2015.
The Ellis Unit participants receive yearly master naturalist training as each new horticulture class comes in.  Scooter Langley (Lee College) and Scott Ball (FoLL) host the 4-month program annually.  Participants from Ellis are integral to the FoLL project by growing plants in substantial numbers.
For the third year in a row, the students and Lee College produced a video for the annual Texas Master Naturalist conference held this October in Rockwall, TX.  The video won first place, received a $500 award for the Conroe TMN chapter, which subsequently donated the money to our Friends of Lake Livingston project.  Notably, one of the Ellis Unit students wrote a rap song (more like a poem) which is played in the video and reflects the FoLL project.  It was unsolicited.  He did it on his own and we inserted it into the video.
The video shows our "adult only" planting in August along Carolina Creek on the north side of the lake.  FoLL also did the school planting in September.
Lyrics for the song are posted below:
by D. Brooks
Lee College Horticulture Student and Texas Master Naturalist Heartwood Student
Started with a vision made into a reality,
The day we witnessed hope was the day we started planting seeds.
Knowing the requirements enriches our environment can serve nature forever with no thoughts of retirement.
Gr8t things are done when men and mountains meet up,
Better dress cool cause this Texas state can heat up.
A lot of volunteers show veneers in these backwoods the earth has gave us everything we're just giving back to it.
It's love for nature and the want to see it flourish, we plant the seeds,
Propagate the cuttings then we nourish.
When I look up at the sparrow like my dreams I let 'em fly,
Do you understand what the water willow can provide, Habitat for the fish, controlling the erosion,
When Lee College got with Lake Livingston, what an explosion.
The BACK 2 LIFE project has been sought in high demand, special thanks to Scooter Langley can you give this man a hand.
Cause the motivation, dedication, and the sacrifices has the kind of inspiration that can pull us out this crisis.
Just as every volunteer up in here is making history when a willow touch that shoreline count it as a victory.
Everybody stand up give yourself applause, tell the woman, man, boy and girl beside you your're a star.
We can go and heal the world it don't matter the location
TEXAS MASTER NATURALIST when you see the you should thank 'em.
This is team T.M.N. hashtag it on the world wide the willows will be watered daily and they will be fertilized.
No need for suit and ties, it's not a suit affair.
Many grow tanks were built for the willows so beware.
I'll meet you at the edge of tomorrow so be there.
Cause today we making waves for restoration cause we care,
About the earth an it's entire we must save it out of obligation look at mother earth and find solutions to this situation,
All this information T.M.N. will be generating, all the hearts within we'll be penetrating.
Cause we love nature, sending you a thank you, every day we wake up hoping to raise the stakes up.