By Melanie Patterson
North Jefferson News
FULTONDALE — On a cold, breezy morning last week, a handful of students got their hands dirty, served their community and helped the environment all at the same time.
Fultondale High School National Honor Society members were at Fultondale Elementary School on Friday to help plant and give away free trees.
The students were helping the Alabama Forestry Commission with the Alabama Tree Recovery Campaign, a program that has been ongoing since the devastating April 2011 tornadoes. The program is helping repopulate native trees that were destroyed in the storms. This is the last year of the campaign.
The Alabama Forestry Commission had about 2,000 trees on hand to give away in Fultondale on Friday. Five varieties were available, including flowering dogwood, shumard oak, blackgum or tupelo, eastern redbud and bald cypress. They are all native to the area and are winter-resistant, according to forester Cliff Hawkins.
In addition, foresters helped National Honor Society students and members of the 117th Air National Guard plant 25 shumard oak seedlings at Fultondale Elementary School.
Hawkins said the seedlings will grow for about two years, long enough to establish good root systems.
Then they will be replanted throughout the Fultondale Elementary School campus, according to Fultondale Parks and Recreation director Phillip Loden.
The Alabama Forestry Commission will have other tree give-aways throughout Jefferson County. To learn more, call the commission at (334) 240-9306.