Thousands Of Trees Donated To Joplin

ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) – Mike Walsh lives in St. Louis but on Saturday he’ll plant some roots in Joplin.

“Northern Red Oaks, Shumar Oak, Weeping Willow going down there.  Tulip tree, River Birch, Bald Cypress.  All kinds of stuff.” said Mike Walsh.

 More than 1,000 trees and 30 different native species are being donated by Forest Releaf of Missouri.  On Saturday volunteers will build a bridge to Joplin with branches.

“And I know what these trees are going to do for the community.  We can’t put back the big mature ones that are there but this is a great start.” said Volunteer Tom Nagle.

Especially after more than 10,000 trees were destroyed during the tornado that hit Joplin. Hanson’s Tree Service is donating an enclosed tractor trailer to transport the trees.

“Its just a wonderful organization and it becomes obvious when things like Joplin happens that people can get together and help somebody else.” said St. Louis Municipal Judge Gordon Schweitzer.

Releaf is trying to help reforest parts of Joplin and even locally in Bridgeton, Maryland Heights and Ferguson. Residents who lost trees during the Good Friday tornado can get free replacements.

“Even on the Illinois side but you know we’re sometimes hesiteant to give trees to Cubs fans but we will make exception if needed.” said Mike Walsh.

All kidding aside, Forest Releaf believes in re-greening areas for a number of reasons.

“The trees affect everybody’s quality of life.  Not just having trees in your yard and enjoying the shade.  The storm sewer run off, preventing the storm sewers from being overloaded.  Trees infiltrate and intercept the water.” said Mike Walsh.

Not to mention the memories you make from a favorite tree in your childhood, or the roots you both shared.

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