Oklahoma Community Tree Recovery Campaign Distributes Free Trees This Sunday, March 29

Moore, Okla. (March 26, 2015) – The Oklahoma Community Tree Recovery Campaign – a multi-year partnership between the Arbor Day Foundation, Oklahoma Forestry Services, and Tree Bank Foundation – kicks off with the giveaway of 1,000 one-gallon trees to Moore, Okla. residents free of charge to replace trees damaged and destroyed by the May 2013 tornado.

The City of Moore will distribute new chinquapin oak trees and Oklahoma red bud trees from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 29 at Moore Community Center, 301 South Howard Ave, Moore, Okla. 73160.

On Saturday, March 28, 11:00 a.m., Oklahoma Forestry Services, Tree Bank Foundation and RETREET will hold a memorial tree planting at Veterans Memorial Park. Also on Saturday, volunteers will plant 160 trees at 80 home sites hit by the tornado.

The Oklahoma Community Tree Recovery Campaign is the fifth of ten individual state campaigns that will take place this spring. Community Tree Recovery program events across the nation are made possible by national program sponsor FedEx, which has long supported communities in need through its efforts in disaster relief, recovery, and environmental sustainability.

On May 20, 2013, a destructive EF5 tornado wreaked havoc on the community of Moore, Okla. The tornado had peak winds estimated at 210 mph, destroyed 1,150 homes, injured 377 people, took the lives of 24 community members, and caused an estimated two million dollars in damage. Entire neighborhoods were leveled, and both Plaza Towers Elementary School and Briarwood Elementary School were directly hit by the storm. Tree Bank Foundation estimates that more than 350 trees were destroyed.

Trees are assets to a community when properly planted and maintained. They 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.

Campaign partners emphasize that help is still needed to restore Moore, Okla., to its pre-disaster condition. Anyone can donate online at www.arborday.org/recovery. With your help, we can begin to restore this beautiful Oklahoma landscape.

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 Oklahoma Forestry Services: Oklahoma Forestry Services, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, is committed to conserving, enhancing and protecting Oklahoma's 12.5 million acres of forests and woodlands. Since 1925 Oklahoma Forestry Services has worked with individuals and communities throughout the state to create resilient landscapes, fire-adaptive communities and provide wildfire response. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the division also has regional offices in Goldsby, Broken Bow, Wilburton and Tahlequah. For more information, visit http://www.forestry.ok.gov.

About Tree Bank Foundation: The Tree Bank Foundation was founded in 1987 by volunteer supporters interested in promoting education, planting, care, and beautification of our state through a wide network of organizations and individuals committed to distributing trees. Its mission is "to promote and plant trees to enrich Oklahoma communities." The value of the more than 200,000 trees brought to the state through the Tree Bank has been estimated to be more than $240 million at maturity.

About RETREET: RETREET is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides disaster relief to affected communities by leading volunteers ("RETREETers") in replanting decimated community trees, one home at a time. Since January 2012, RETREETers have planted 3,437 trees at home sites across Texas, Missouri, Colorado, New York, and Ontario, Canada, bringing comfort, hope, and joy to those in need. Through direct action and community engagement, RETREET offers a unique solution to an urgent problem at a relatively low cost.