London, Kentucky (April 7, 2014)--The Kentucky Community Tree Recovery Campaign -- a partnership between the Arbor Day Foundation and the Kentucky Division of Forestry -- marks the beginning of a multi-year campaign this month to provide 25,000 trees per year for two years to Kentucky residents free of charge to replace trees damaged and destroyed by the March 2012 tornadoes. The five counties that will receive free seedlings this year include Campbell, Johnson, Laurel, Menifee and Wolfe.
The Kentucky Community Tree Recovery Campaign will be recognized during the state's official Arbor Day Ceremony which is being held in conjunction with the city of London's Arbor Day celebration on Thursday, April 10, at 10:00 a.m. at London's Wellness Park in Laurel County. The event will feature Mayor Troy Rudder's public address followed by brief words from Kentucky State Forester Leah W. MacSwords and other Arbor Day officials. The city of London will receive its third consecutive Tree City USA program recognition before the planting of a ceremonial tree at Wellness Park. Additional public tree planting events as well as numerous seedling giveaways will be occurring throughout the five counties previously mentioned until mid-April.
This is the third in a series of Community Tree Recovery program events across the nation led by the Arbor Day Foundation and national program sponsor FedEx, which has long supported communities in need through disaster relief, recovery and environmental sustainability.
On March 2, 2012, 45 tornados touched down across the nation's midsection. In Kentucky, 19 tornados tore through more than 100 miles of cities, towns and countryside. The destruction was so great that President Barack Obama declared 16 Kentucky counties federal disaster areas.
Trees can be assets to a community when properly planted and maintained. They help to improve the visual appeal of a neighborhood or shopping district, increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, remove air pollutants, and provide wildlife habitat, among many other benefits.
The Kentucky Community Tree Recovery Campaign is a joint effort between the Kentucky Division of Forestry and the Arbor Day Foundation. Financial support for the program is being provided by Wyndham Vacation Ownership, Erie Insurance, Lexmark International, and FedEx.
About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a million member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information is available at arborday.org.