In traditional holiday fashion, Southeast Texans are bringing the outdoors inside by decorating homes with evergreen trees both artificial and real. This year Entergy Texas, Inc. customers and community advocates can share this love of the outdoors with lasting, free holiday gifts for family and friends.

The gift is the dedication of a tree in someone’s honor or memory, a program made possible through Entergy’s partnership with the Texas chapter of The Nature Conservancy. Tree dedications honor recipients while also creating awareness of an initiative to bring longleaf pine trees back to their historic Southeast Texas home in the Big Thicket’s Roy E. Larsen Sandyland Sanctuary.

Since the program began last spring, more than 250 trees have been dedicated in honor or memory of a special someone, all free of charge. The program recognizes a $500,000 grant from Entergy to support wetland restoration and reforestation in the four states the electric utility serves—Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Dedications can be made from a computer, smartphone or tablet using the following URL: entergytexas.com/sandyland.

Once there, provide the name of the person you wish to honor and an email address to notify the person or his or her family. A keepsake certificate can be generated from the email notification.

In the process, you can learn about one of Southeast Texas’ true, natural treasures. The Sandyland Sanctuary, which encompasses 5,654 acres in Hardin County, including a portion of Village Creek, is managed by The Nature Conservancy, one of Entergy’s environmental partners for more than a decade.

“Over time Entergy has contributed more than $1.5 million to The Nature Conservancy in support of Entergy’s mission to create value for all our stakeholders,” explained Vernon Pierce, vice president, customer service for Entergy Texas. “Our mission includes protecting natural resources vital to our communities.”

The Nature Conservancy of Texas used the funds provided by Entergy and other community partners to support reforestation of longleaf pines in the sanctuary with 73,000 seedlings added this year. “The longleaf pine forest is a disappearing ecosystem, and we are proud of the conservation work our staff is doing. We are very appreciative for Entergy’s continuing support,” said Wendy Ledbetter, forest program manager for The Nature Conservancy in Texas. “Funding from Entergy helps provide ongoing support so that we have the staff, equipment and supplies to perform wetland forest restoration and land management activities year-round.”