- Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News
Arkansas Department of Agriculture hosts "Free Tree Fridays"
JONESBORO, Ark- For those with a green thumb, this is for you. The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is giving back to residents across the state ahead of Arbor Day.
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture will host “Free Tree Fridays” starting this week, March 17. With several of their stops being here in northeast Arkansas.
“You’re getting a little baby seedling; you’re starting it from the beginning. These all come from our balk nursery and were just lifted this season,” says Kristine Kimbro, community and urban forester with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture.” You can plant them in your yard.”
Between March 17 - April 14, the campaign will make five stops in the region:
·Osceola – Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Office, 3137 W. Keiser Avenue: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
·Walnut Ridge – Lawrence County Extension Office, 1100 W. Main Street: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
·Pocahontas – American Made General Store, 1100 Pace Road: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
·Wynne – Wynne Fire Department, 1111 Falls Boulevard: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
·Batesville – Riverside Park, 1770 Chaney Drive: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Kimbro says species will vary by location, but people can receive a free Arkansas hardwood seedling in honor of Arbor Day- which recognizes and encourages the planting of trees.
“We started the Free Tree Friday campaign to honor both Arkansas's Arbor Day, which is celebrated on the third Monday of March, and the national Arbor Day which is celebrated on the last Friday of April.”
The annual event draws people with various interest. From starting a new family tradition, a school field trip, or someone just wanting a new tree, whatever the reason may be, Kimbro says they’re honored to be a part of it.
“We’ve had people come out and say, ‘I want to get this one and our family is going to plant it in memory of a loved one that we lost last year.’ So, they kinda turn it into a memorial tree that they plant in honor of that loved one,” she said of the community outreach and networking event.
Since starting the campaign three years ago, Kimbro says it has grown, giving out countless seedlings, with communities reaching out, seeking to bring “Free Tree Friday” to their town.
“People are realizing there is not just an aesthetic value to these trees but there's the shade benefit, there's the energy savings, there's the climate change mitigation,” she said of the plant.
The department is in the process of adding “Free Tree Friday” stops in Jonesboro and Trumann.
To see a complete list of locations, you can click here- https://www.agriculture.arkansas.gov/forestry/urban-community-forestry/free-tree-friday/