Neighbors offered free trees as 'Grow Albany' plants roots in Radium Springs

Neighbors offered free trees as 'Grow Albany' plants roots in Radium Springs
These large trees will be planted in the Radium Springs neighborhood Saturday. (Source: WALB)
Dougherty Public Works crews have been prepping the area for two weeks. (Source: WALB)
Dougherty Public Works crews have been prepping the area for two weeks. (Source: WALB)
Radium Springs lost much of its famed tree canopy during a EF-3 tornado in January. (Source: WALB)
Radium Springs lost much of its famed tree canopy during a EF-3 tornado in January. (Source: WALB)
Thomas Bruce. (Source: WALB)
Thomas Bruce. (Source: WALB)
Judy Bowles. (Source: WALB)
Judy Bowles. (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - It's estimated Albany lost more than 10,000 trees during tornadoes and storms this year.

And, the first community-wide effort to replace those lost trees will happen on Saturday, thanks to the Grow Albany effort.

They don't need volunteers, but you do have a chance to pick up a tree to plant in your yard, for free.

For two weeks, Dougherty County Public Works crews have been prepping the Radium Springs neighborhood for a major tree replanting.

"We are placing the trees out for the volunteers that will be coming out on Saturday, " said Dougherty County Parks Manager Thomas Bruce.

Judy Bowles, the executive director of Keep Albany Dougherty Beautiful, the umbrella that Grow Albany lives under, said selecting Radium Springs as the first planting project site made sense.

"This was an area hit hard by the tornado, and they lost thousands and thousands of trees," said Bowles.

In all, 146 new, mostly 30-gallon size trees will be added to the landscape around Radium Springs, an area always known for its stunning tree canopy.

"Our forefathers planted these for us to enjoy," explained Bowles.

The new trees are all disease-resistant natives, ten varieties in all.

Red maple, yellow poplar and, of course, the grand live oak will be among the trees planted.

And, neighbors are even invited to take up to two smaller trees home on Saturday to plant in their yard.

Five-hundred three-gallon trees will be given away, free of charge, as a gift to Albany citizens from the Arbor Day Foundation.

And, the larger community trees, were a gift from SB&T bank. Gifts that will grow and fill in the empty spaces once again.

"It's incumbent upon us to go ahead and replant and give this gift to the next generations," said Bowles.

The next Grow Albany community planting project will be in February, at Tift Park, sponsored by Phoebe.

Mission Change has also signed on as a major sponsor of Grow Albany.

If you want to pick up a tree this Saturday, Bowles said people can go to the Radium Springs Garden Overlook area at 9 a.m.

It will be a first-come, first-serve basis with a maximum of two trees per family.

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