Vilonia, Ark. (February 10, 2015) – The Arkansas Community Tree Recovery Campaign – a partnership between the Arbor Day Foundation and the Arkansas Forestry Commission – marks the beginning of a multi-year campaign which will provide 10,000 trees this year to Arkansas residents free of charge to replace trees damaged and destroyed by the April 2013 tornadoes. The communities of Vilonia and Mayflower will be providing 5,000 new trees each to distribute to homeowners.
Vilonia and Mayflower will be holding individual distributions of new trees from 10am to 2pm on Saturday, February 14, at the Vilonia and Mayflower fire stations respectively. The distributed tree species will include a mixture of: redbud, white oak, pecan, hickory, white oak, crabapple, red mulberry, pin oak, cherrybark oak, and willow oak.
The Arkansas Forestry Commission will be holding memorial tree plantings prior to each distribution. Vilonia will host their memorial tree planting in front of the Vilonia Fire Station, and Mayflower will host their memorial tree planting in front of City Hall.
Arkansas is the seventh state to partner with the Arbor Day Foundation through the Community Tree Recovery program, and is the first of ten individual state campaigns that will take place this spring. Community Tree Recovery program events across the nation are supported by national program sponsor FedEx, which has long supported communities in need through disaster relief, recovery and environmental sustainability.
On April 2013, an EF4 tornado touched down in Arkansas, and wreaked havoc on multiple communities. The tornado remained on the ground for more than an hour, reached wind speeds of 190 mph and took 16 lives in Arkansas. It is considered one of the most deadly tornadoes to hit Arkansas since 1968.
Trees are 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 Arkansas Community Tree Recovery Campaign is a joint effort between the Arkansas Forestry Commission and the Arbor Day Foundation. Financial support for this campaign is being provided by FedEx and Canon.
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.
About the Arkansas Forestry Commission: The mission of the AFC is to protect Arkansas's forests, and those who enjoy them, from wildland fire and natural hazards while promoting rural and urban forest health, stewardship, development, and conservation for all generations of Arkansans. Visit www.forestry.arkansas.gov or www.arkfireinfo.org. To report wildfires, call 1-800-468-8834