By Hartsville Vidette Staff Reporter

The Tennessee Environmental Council, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will partner to distribute and plant 100,000 native Tennessee trees across our state on Saturday, Feb. 25. The event is being hailed as the single largest community tree-planting event in the state’s history.

Trousdale County’s UT Extension Office is getting in on the act as well, as anyone wishing to participate can pick up trees at the office on Broadway on Friday, Feb. 24 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

All trees are offered at no cost to Tennessee residents and organizations that register online at tectn.org/100ktreeday until Feb. 19.

Courtesy of pixabay.com

Because of anticipated high demand for these trees, the Council encourages people to register as soon as possible. Donations and sponsorships are encouraged on the event website to help cover the costs of making trees available free to participants.

“We are doing this because we care about Tennessee’s beautiful environment, and planting trees is a meaningful, fun and effective way to improve our communities,” said John McFadden, Chief Executive Officer of Tennessee Environmental Council.

“Trees provide many, many benefits to our communities, our economy and the environment, including increasing home values, cutting cooling costs, and even increasing expenditures in retail locations. Communities that have more trees have less crime, graffiti, and less litter. And trees soak up the stormwater, a leading cause of water pollution in Tennessee.”

This effort is made possible with assistance from several state agency partners. The Division of Forestry nursery grows the trees and delivers them to the eight TDEC field offices across Tennessee. Many Tennessee State Parks will serve as public distribution points and TWRA wildlife biologists and agency personnel provide invaluable knowledge to landowners about how to restore and improve Tennessee’s tree canopy. Finally, all three agencies continue to support the project financially, making it possible for all Tennesseans to receive trees at no cost to plant at their homes, businesses and/or farms.

Last year, more than 6,000 volunteers and dozens of organizations participated in 50K Tree Day on Feb. 27, 2016, planting trees in 92 counties and generating an in-kind value over $400,000 in volunteer labor by planting almost 46,000 trees in one day, according to tectn.org.

Event organizers are looking for individuals and groups to get involved. For more information, visit tectn.org/100ktreeday.