1,500 trees coming to 3 impacted counties in Eastern Kentucky

Published 10:42 am Monday, March 4, 2024

Gov. Andy Beshear on Wednesday announced plans for the distribution of 1,500 trees in Letcher, Perry and Breathitt counties to help rebuild and offer hope and healing to Eastern Kentucky families impacted by the devastating flooding event in 2022.

“Our families have understandably been focused on rebuilding all that was lost during the 2022 flood event,” said Gov. Beshear. “We hope these trees, offered at no cost, will bring hope of rebirth and a fresh start for our Eastern Kentucky communities.”

The trees are made available through the Arbor Day Foundation’s Community Tree Recovery program and State Farm and will be distributed by the Kentucky Division of Forestry on March 2, 16, and 23 respectively from 9 a.m. until noon. The new trees will help replace trees damaged and destroyed by the floods. The locations are:

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March 2 at the Letcher County Extension Office in Whitesburg

March 16 at the Perry County Extension Office in Hazard

March 23 at the Breathitt County Extension Office in Jackson.

“Increasing tree canopies in our communities can be one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to help reduce stormwater and the impacts of flooding.” State Forester Brandon Howard said. “Planting trees is an investment in the future as many communities continue to recover from natural disasters.”

The Arbor Day Foundation is the world’s largest membership nonprofit dedicated to planting trees. The Foundation’s Community Tree Recovery Program, a national program underwritten by FedEx and Foundation members, identifies and helps communities affected by natural disasters by relying on an extensive network of local community tree-planting organizations. The program has helped distribute more than 5.3 million trees since its inception in 2005.

“In the wake of natural disaster, trees can be the promise of hope a neighborhood needs in order to heal,” said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “By replanting trees, local planting partners are taking meaningful action to foster resiliency in their communities and lay the roots of a greener future.”

Residents, schools, businesses and other local organizations are eligible to receive various species of trees, which will be available in one to three-gallon containers and will be four-seven feet tall.