Environmental conservation nonprofit gives away trees

Residents who reserved trees from the Friends of Rappahannock pick them up on Nov. 20. Before heading home, recipients get more information about how to plant and take care of them.

Friends of the Rappahannock, with the help of Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, gave away 400 trees on Nov. 20 as a part of their ongoing environmental effort in the area.

“So far it’s been successful,” said Ashleigh Hughes, field technician for FOR. “Everybody’s very happy to be getting trees.”

Residents were able to reserve Redbuds, Flowering Dogwoods, Serviceberry or White Oak trees online prior to the event. The trees were acquired from a nursery in North Carolina.

“We pretty much have a 75% success rate with tree survival when people just take them and plant them themselves, which is pretty good considering because they don’t have any training,” Hughes said.

The trees are important, Hughes continued, because they support the habitat for native pollinators as well as other insects and birds.

Every year, FOR has a certain number of trees they need to plant, and the tree giveaway is a contributor to that number, Hughes said. Tree giveaways are hosted a few times a year.

As a part of the giveaway, REC donated $4,300 to FOR. The nonprofit also received another grant to fund the event.

Founded in 1985, Friends of the Rappahannock strives to educate and advocate to protect and restore the Rappahannock River.

maria@culpepertimes.com

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