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The original item was published from 11/9/2020 9:43:42 AM to 11/21/2020 12:05:05 PM.

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Posted on: November 9, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Tornado survivors get first pick at Arbor Day Foundation tree giveaway Nov. 21

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COOKEVILLE – Survivors of the tornado that struck Cookeville on March 3 will get first pick of 500 trees to be given away by the Arbor Day Foundation through a partnership with the City of Cookeville and Verizon.


The distribution will take place Nov. 21 at the Cane Creek SportsPlex parking lot, 2200 W. Jackson St. Putnam County residents affected by the tornado may pick up their trees from 8-10 a.m. Other community members are welcome from 10 a.m.-noon.


“The March 2020 tornado broke our hearts, but it did not break our spirits,” Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton said. “We are committed to helping replace the trees that were lost.”


Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter said, “The tornado decimated many of our neighborhoods, taking with it an unfathomable number of trees. This project will help to ensure that no household impacted by the tornado misses an opportunity to help restore our lost tree canopy.”


Tree species include white dogwood, Kwanzan cherry, Yoshino cherry, tulip poplar, red maple, willow oak and Shumard oak. They are four to six feet tall and will be given away in a drive-through formation on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last. Recipients may take two each.


Jaime Nunan, City of Cookeville urban forester, said, “This generous gift from the Arbor Day Foundation will remind us to stay hopeful with each new season of growth moving forward. Not only will these trees help with healing, they are essential to the environmental sustainability and health of our community.” 


Attendees are also welcome to visit the new Cookeville Strong Memorial Tree Grove at the corner of C C Camp Road and West Jackson Street. The grove consists of 19 trees that were planted Nov. 7 in memory of those lost due to the tornado. Social distancing will be observed. Masks are recommended.


Another Arbor Day Foundation tree giveaway is planned for March 13, at which time 500 additional trees will be distributed.


Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation president, said, “We are proud to encourage and support local efforts to plant trees. Cities and towns around the globe that line their streets and fill their parks with trees are building healthier, happier communities.”


Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters and partners. In the last 45 years, more than 350 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. For more information, visit


For more information about Cookeville’s tree giveaway, call Nunan at 520-5337.


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