"The Alabama Tree Recovery Campaign is an important effort to distribute trees to Alabamians who had homes destroyed in the April tornado outbreak," Gov. Robert Bentley said in a press release. "This campaign will help restore our communities, and I am appreciative to the Alabama Forestry Commission and Arbor Day Foundation for coming together on this project."
Walker County Forest Ranger Bartley Wyers said the Alabama Tree Recovery Campaign allows people throughout the country to have a hand in the rebuilding of Alabama communities affected by this year's outbreak of tornadoes.
"We've seen the devastation first-hand, and I'm proud of our agency -- to see that they're stepping up and working toward revitalizing north Alabama's urban forest," he said.
The Arbor Day Foundation set up a donation webpage, www.arborday.org/alabama, where anyone can donate money to the campaign. For every dollar donated, members of the foundation will give a two- to four-foot seedling to a community or family.
Though individuals cannot apply for donated trees, the Alabama Forestry Commission will create a list of communities that most need the trees. Wyers said cities and towns that were either directly in the path or within a half-mile of the tornado will take the highest priority.
Forestry Commission and Arbor Day Foundation officials will hand out the trees in February of 2012. The species of trees given away will include Northern Red Oak, Willow Oak, Shunard Oak, Black Gum and Flowering Dogwood.
"The trees lost in the recent tornado outbreak provided millions of dollars in environmental, economic, and social benefits," said Linda Casey, the Alabama State Forester, in a press release. "This campaign can go a long way toward putting our communities and surrounding areas on the path to recovery."
For more information about the Alabama Tree Recovery Campaign, log on to the Alabama Forestry Commission's website at www.forestry.state.al.us