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Orrville hopes Arbor Day celebration rebuilds forests

Marion Junction resident Lillie K. Martin, right, looks over a selection of tree seedlings during the tree giveaway Wednesday afternoon in Orrville. (Jay Sowers | Times-Journal)

Marion Junction resident Lillie K. Martin, right, looks over a selection of tree seedlings during the tree giveaway Wednesday afternoon in Orrville. (Jay Sowers | Times-Journal)

Orrville town leaders hope the town’s Arbor Day Week celebration will help them rebuild Orrville’s wooded appeal years after severe storms left its forests heavily damaged.

The Dallas County office of the Alabama Forestry Commission made a trip to Orrville Wednesday to spread free seedlings and knowledge as a part of the Alabama’s annual Arbor Day week celebration. Orrville councilwoman Jewel Williamson said the town relies on their annual visits to store the beauty of the town’s scenery after tornadoes harmed and killed several of their trees.

“We had a lots of old trees, and we had to tornadoes in the early 90’s,” Williamson said. “Many of our trees were destroyed, just turned over and big holes were left there.”

In hopes of replenishing the land with new trees, the town encourages residents to participate.

“Many of the trees around town are a result of this Arbor Day,” Williamson said. “We know that it gives our town a better look.”

Cedric Hudson, the AFC work unit manager for Perry, Bibb and Dallas County, said the commission visits both Valley Grande and Orrville to spread awareness, along with free seedlings of Japanese Maple, Green Ash, River Ash, Cherry Bark Oak, Black Gum, Crepe Myrtle and Pistache trees.

“What we are trying to do is promote more public awareness about the benefits of trees,” Hudson said.

Williamson had no trouble listing the benefits more trees would have for Orrville.

“It’s healthier to have trees growing,” Williamson said. “It gives curb appeal.”

Orrville Mayor Louvenia Lumpkin said the town’s Arbor Day celebration is useful for all generations.

“This is very important, not only for the senior citizens but the young people, because a lot of young people don’t know about planting a tree,” Lumpkin said. “They’ll get a chance to see the tree come up.”

Williamson said there are many Orrville residents who are far from novices when it comes to planting and growing trees.

“We are people who love the land. We’re people who garden. We are people who grow things,” Williamson said.