The Missouri Department of Conservation is joining forces with several community partners to give away free trees to mid-Missouri residents impacted by tornado damage last spring. Nearly 400 trees will be offered at sites in Jefferson City and Eldon from October 3 -5.
The tree giveaway will offer a variety of three-gallon, potted tree species, from red oak and river birch, to black gum and eastern wahoo. Volunteers will be available to help residents choose and plant the trees.
The event is in response to the damage left by a series of powerful tornadoes that ripped through several mid-Missouri cities on May 22. Eldon Garden Club Vice President Carolyn Cardwell knows first-hand what that damage looks like.
“On a tornado you never know what it’s going to be, it’s just hit and miss,” Cardwell said. “So, it got a lot of stuff out on the south end of town and Eldon is used to having two grocery stores. We’ve only had one grocery store since May.”
MDC Media Specialist Robert Hemmelgran says that trees, like food and clothing, can play an integral part in disaster relief efforts.
“Just having a view of nature from your office or your home can have positive impacts on mental health and social interaction,” Hemmelgran said.
The MDC is partnering with Forest ReLeaf of Missouri, Jefferson City Parks and Recreation Department, the City of Eldon and the garden clubs of Eldon and Jefferson City.
The giveaway sites are located at 1626 Tanner Bridge Rd. in Jefferson City and 532 Airport Rd. in Eldon.