Disaster struck last spring when a tornado ripped through the City of Cleburne creating 8.5 miles of destruction and leaving residents to rebuild their damaged homes, businesses and landscapes.
Over 1,500 homes were impacted by the storm, including the loss of many of the surrounding trees. According to the Texas Trees Foundation, the loss of these trees has been accompanied by a decrease in shade, energy efficiency and property values.
Partnering to help the community recover, H.E.B., Texas Trees Foundation, ReTreet America, Texas A&M Forest Service, the City of Cleburne, and Cross Timbers Urban Forestry Council are providing free trees to homeowners in the affected area.
“The environmental impact of a storm like this is often not recognized for some time, but it cannot be overlooked,” said Matt Grubisich, operations director for Texas Trees Foundation. “These 300 trees are a great way to start rebuilding the tree cover in this neighborhood leaving a lasting legacy for years to come.”
Distributing and planting trees can bring a community together around a common goal: restoring the lost tree canopy.
“Neighbors’ trees were uprooted and thrown across the street. There was so much damage, but we really miss our trees and are looking forward to having them back,” said Doree McKinley, Cleburne homeowner.
The tree giveaway is set for Saturday, March 1 from 10 a.m.-noon. It will be held at the H.E.B parking lot at 600 W Henderson St, Cleburne. Residents in affected neighborhoods can bring in the Trees for Cleburne postcard received in the mail to get a free tree. Volunteers will be available to help residents who are unable to plant trees themselves.
Texas A&M Forest Service Contacts:
Courtney Blevins, Ft. Worth Regional Forester
Jessica Jackson, Communications Specialist