BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (WDTN) – New roots are being planted in Beavercreek this weekend as more steps towards the Memorial Day tornado recovery are taken.
The Beavercreek Wetlands Association partnered with Five Rivers Metroparks on a project that will distribute 250 free trees to Beavercreek residents.
The Wetlands Association began the operation after seeing the devastation left behind from the tornadoes earlier this year. Many homes and properties were destroyed, including hundreds of trees that were ripped from the ground.
On Saturday, October 26, the association will distribute the trees to those who were able to get a reservation.
Demand for the trees exceeded the association’s expectations. Within 24 hours of posting the advertisement, all of the available trees had been reserved.
Officials said they heard many stories and saw many photos from residents whose properties were impacted by the storm.
“We specified that we were looking to help Beavercreek residents recover from the tornado damage,” said The Wetlands Association’s executive director Blythe Hazellief. “When they wrote in for their request, they were often sharing their stories with us, which were heartbreaking.”
Hazellief said that because of the response, the organization would be reaching out for more grants to fund another, larger tree drive in the spring of next year.
“We’ve already seen demand for more than 500 trees,” said Hazellief. “[We want to] offer a much larger event and more species to cover a wider area.”
The current tree drive is distributing oak and hickory species of trees.
The Wetlands Association said this was also an important step to plant more native tree species in the area.
“Native trees are extremely important to the local landscape,” said Hazellief. “They offer food sources to a lot of local wildlife. They’re the best for your yard; they’re healthier, heartier, grow faster, and are a better choice for landscaping.”
The Wetlands Association will be distributing the trees but individuals who pick them up will be required to plant them. While picking them up, citizens will be given tips and guidance on the best way to plant and care for them.
“Replacing the trees is a small part of the mission but it’s close to our hearts,” said Hazellief. “It’s an important part of fixing the entire landscape and making everyone’s houses feel like homes again.”
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