WILMINGTON — As of late, thousands of trees have been given out or planted in the Cape Fear region, according to the Alliance for Cape Fear Trees president, Connie Parker. Come Saturday, even more will be handed over to the public for free, in an effort to restore the area’s urban forestry after numerous years of storm damage.
In partnership with Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Recovery Campaign and State Farm Insurance, it will be the alliance’s fourth tree giveaway. Held in the Legion Stadium parking lot (2149 Carolina Beach Rd.), 1,000 trees will be handed out Oct. 23, 9 a.m. – noon.
“We are so grateful for our continued partnership with Arbor Day Foundation and their Community Tree Recovery program,” Parker said.
The largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to tree-planting, the Arbor Day Foundation works toward educating the public about the benefits of trees as a solution to many modern-day issues: air and water quality, climate change, deforestation, poverty, and hunger.
“The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of green space and trees to our daily lives,” Arbor Day Foundation president Dan Lambe said in a release. “By replacing trees damaged or lost by previous storms, we can help to ensure that Wilmington will continue to enjoy the benefits of a healthy canopy, from cleaning our air and water, to mitigating flooding and bolstering our mental health.”
Members of the Wilmington Tree Commission started the Alliance for Cape Fear Trees in December 2015, with a goal to preserve, protect and plant trees locally. “This partnership alone has already delivered more than 3,000 trees to Wilmington through previous community tree giveaways and tree plantings,” Parker said in a release.
The Alliance has planted over 3,000 trees throughout the city as well.
Saturday, three-gallon trees will be given out for free — limited to two per resident — in an effort to restore those that have been damaged or lost to weather events in recent years. State Farm North Carolina vice president of agency, Jonathan Porwick, recognized trees’ role in mitigating storm damage and flooding.
“Replanting, in a strategic way, will help impacted areas recover and potentially better withstand future challenges,” he said in a release. “With the severity and rate of natural disasters on the rise, projects like these are becoming increasingly important in protecting both our planet’s ecosystems and the communities where we all live.”
Native species of trees will be handed out, including 15 varieties:
- American Elm
- American Hornbeam
- Paw Paw
- Pin Oak
- Red Maple
- River Birch
- Southern Red Oak
- Swamp Chestnut Oak
- Sweetbay Magnolia
- White Oak
- Willow Oak
Takers will be able to learn about the trees’ proper care, including soil and sun preference, at allianceforcapefeartrees.com. There also will be arborists onsite to answer questions about planting techniques.
The City of Wilmington will be giving away wood-chip mulch to residents who bring their own containers — bag, box or bucket welcome.
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