Forestry Council replaces Vilonia’s canopyOriginally Published March 21, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated March 20, 2013 at 9:35 a.m.
After a powerful tornado blew through Vilonia in 2011, most of the community’s tree canopy was destroyed.
The Arkansas Urban Forestry Council has helped fill the gaps that were left after these trees were destroyed by planting trees at Vilonia’s ballpark on Friday.
The Arkansas ReLeaf Project planted nine trees in the park. The trees that were planted on Friday are different species, ranging from White Oak to Bald Cypress.
Patti Erwin, ex-officio of the Arkansas Urban Forestry Council and state urban forestry coordinator for the Arkansas Forestry Commission, said the first “releaf” project was done in Haskell in 2004.
Erwin said that aside from planting trees in the ballpark, there are other advantages to replacing the lost trees.
“The trees will give the community cleaner air, water [and provide] uptake of carbon dioxide and more shade in the community, making it more livable,” Erwin said.
Not only will the new trees make up for ones that were lost when the tornado ripped through the area; they will provide a place for members of the community to gather.
“These trees will make [ballpark attendees’] days more enjoyable,” Erwin said.
The Arkansas Urban Forestry Council partnered with First Security Bank in Vilonia on Saturday by the Veterans Memorial and the Vilonia Library to help celebrate Arbor Day and give trees to families in the area.
Vilonia Mayor James Firestone talked about the damage that was caused by the 2011 tornado. The council then planted a black gum tree near the library, said Chris Stuhlinger, council treasurer and university system forest manager at the University of Arkansas at Monticello.
Stuhlinger said 100 trees were given away to families in the community to plant at their residences and that Saturday’s event was a success.
“The 100 trees we had to give away went out in less than an hour,” he said. “[The trees] will give them a little bit of a start to rebuild what they lost.”
More information about the Arkansas Urban Forestry Council is available at: www.arkansas
Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501)244-4307 or email@example.com.
Zoned Editions Staff Writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at 501-244-4307 or firstname.lastname@example.org.