EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Keep Evansville Beautiful (KEB) is hosting a tree giveaway in celebration of Arbor Day. 300 trees sourced from Bur Oak Tree Service and Nursery will be given away at the Wesselman Park shelter house on the way to Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve (WW) on April 29 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. while supplies last.

WW is located at 551 N. Boeke Road in Evansville, Indiana. This event is a partnership between KEB, WW, the Evansville Department of Urban Forestry, On the Spot Utility Resources LLC and CenterPoint Energy.

Mayor Lloyd Winnecke will kick off Arbor Day with remarks at 11 a.m. followed by remarks from KEB. All guests will receive free admission to the 200-acre nature preserve which is the largest urban, old-growth forest in the United States in honor of Arbor Day and WW’s 50th anniversary.

Guests can also take part in special guided hikes from City Arborist Shawn Dickerson and WW Director of Natural Resources Cindy Cifuentes. Hikes will take place at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. Self-guided hikes are also available at the front desk of the WW Nature Center.

“Keep Evansville Beautiful is proud to sponsor this tree giveaway for the community. Trees are at the root of human existence. They absorb carbon dioxide and release clean oxygen we need to thrive. Not only do they provide clean air but they provide shade on hot days,” says Executive Director of KEB Julie Welch. “Their root systems help filter water and they beautify areas where planted. That’s why it is so important that Evansville residents have the opportunity to help reduce their own carbon footprint and beautify their own spaces.”

“The City of Evansville has an initiative to increase canopy cover across the city, but can only plant trees in limited public locations, which is why we are working with our partners to help get trees planted across the city on private properties,” says City Arborist Shawn Dickerson. “This will help us increase canopy cover across the city, in turn, helping keep our city cooler during hot periods, reduce stormwater runoff, beautify our area and provide great community health benefits.”

Bloomington-based Sycamore Land Trust will also host an Arbor Day tree giveaway at the Old National Bank Atrium in downtown Evansville. Sycamore Land Trust is a nonprofit conservation organization that protects Eagle Slough Natural Area in Evansville in addition to over 10,000 acres of land in southern Indiana including over 30 miles of free public hiking trails.

They will give away over 250 native tree seedlings grown at the Indiana Department of Natural Resource’s Vallonia Tree Nursery. Available species include (while supplies last): American plum, black cherry, blackgum, common chokecherry, Chinkapin oak, pin oak, elderberry, hazelnut, gray dogwood, pawpaw, red oak, shagbark hickory, and Washington hawthorn and more. These tree species were chosen for the benefits they provide to wildlife including food and shelter.

More information about KEB’s Arbor Day 2022 can be learned by contacting Executive Director Julie Welch at (812) 425-4461 or via email at keb@keepevansvillebeautiful.org.