Five Rivers MetroParks giving away seedlings to replace trees damaged in 2019 tornadoes

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Five Rivers MetroParks is still working to rebuild since last year’s tornadoes, but instead of assembling structures, they’re nurturing the environment. 

Staff from Five Rivers is requesting the community’s help planting tree seedlings after many of them were destroyed in last year’s series of destructive tornadoes. 

Conservation supervisor for the organization, Meredith Cobb, said trees were hit especially hard at Wegerzyn MetroPark and surrounding areas. She said many of them are still broken and uprooted, unable to hold soil in place, purify the air, or minimize potentially disastrous effects of storm water.

“We really don’t know how many trees we lost, but we know that our habitat was really affected by the tornadoes.”

She said community members can help improve the condition at the park and throughout Montgomery County by planting seedlings at their homes and in their communities, explaining that the incentives are beneficial on a human level, and good for the environment. 

“Trees help reduce energy costs for people’s homes, they are aesthetically pleasing. They provide a habitat for a lot of different pollinators, birds and other wildlife.”

She added residents of Montgomery County can choose from over 21 plant species that will be available at Wegerzyn this weekend, from hickory and oak trees, to smaller, flowering shrubs. She said planting them now will offer the best chance for healthy growth.

“The fall is one of the best times to plant a tree because it has the fall and the winter to grow roots and really establish itself before we hit the really hot, dry summer.”

Cobb said there will be thousands of seedlings available and community members are welcome to take up to three. Staff will be distributing the plants drive through style and they are requesting everyone to wear masks. Seedlings will be available Friday afternoon from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. 


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