500 free trees will be available Saturday for Putnam County residents to replant what was lost in the March Tornado.
These trees are coming to the city of Cookeville through the Arbor Day Foundation and a sponsorship with Verizon. Cookeville Urban Forester Jaime Nunan said replanting in the community is important for the environment and for mindset.
“Spirits were broken and torn down during that time and I think these plantings and giveaways… really just giving an opportunity for us to come together and grow together,” Nunan said. “This is something we’ll all be able to look back on in the future and we’ll remember, ‘hey this event was right after this and symbolizes this,’ and it’s something that the trees will never be lost… hopefully we won’t have another event like this again.”
Nunan said residents directly impacted by the tornado have been contacted and have first pick of the assortment of shade and ornamental trees from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM. She said from 10:00 AM to noon, anyone local can come to the Sportsplex parking lot to pickup two trees.
“Anybody in Putnam County, Cookeville, really anybody in the local area can come out and get trees,” Nunan said. “They don’t need any information, emails, anything like that. It’s just free, come get them and we’re doing a two tree per person limit.”
However, Nunan said this is just the first round of trees for the area. She said more will be coming this Spring.
“We’re also gonna be doing the same thing March 13,” Nunan said. “500 more trees, and that will be open the whole time to everybody.”
Nunan said tree species include white dogwood, Kwanzan cherry, Yoshino cherry, tulip poplar, red maple, willow oak and Shumard oak. She said people can pick any two of the available species when they arrive.
She said residents can even pull up and request the trees they want and have them put in their car, if they want to be cautious about COVID-19.