Program provides free ’ReLeaf’ to tornado-damaged Jonesboro

ReLeaf program brings beauty back after tornado damage

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The Forestry Division of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture teamed up with the Arkansas Urban Forestry Council on Saturday to give out free trees.

This was part of their ReLeaf program, where twice a year, they choose cities that have suffered tornado damage, and they hand out trees to try to bring a little bit of beauty back to the community.

This year, they held a drive-thru event at Centennial Bank on Highland Drive.

Krissy Kimbro-Thomason says that trees can even help people’s mental well-being.

“When you have a tornado come and take out 70 to 200-year-old trees, it can have a devastating effect, not only on the aesthetics of the community but on people’s mental well-being because people form connections with the trees in their yards," said Kimbro-Thomason, urban and community forestry program director for the Arkansas Department of Agriculture.

Kimbro-Thomason says that this event is important because it provides hope after hard times.

"It changes your whole greenscape in your yard and community, so by doing this, we can’t replace the mature trees, but a young tree sometimes has that hope of a fresh start, a new beginning,” said Kimbro-Thomason.

Krissy says that the community response has been great, and everyone has been excited to get their trees.

One man expressed how thankful he was because he lost all four of his trees from the March storms.

Copyright 2020 KAIT. All rights reserved.