About 2,000 tree seedlings will be available for free to the general public beginning Thursday, as the Annual Tree Seedling Giveaway by the Daviess County Conservation District returns this year.

After having to cancel the event last year due to COVID-19, this year’s giveaway will be at Horse Fork Creek Park, 3005 Fairview Drive, Owensboro, from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, while supplies last.

Emily Murphy, administrative secretary, Daviess County Conservation District, said Monday that this will be the first year that the seedling giveaway will be done at the park.

“It usually is at our building or close by, but this year with COVID-19 restrictions we are having it up there to allow for more room and also in a drive-thru manner,” she said.

Murphy said that while it is not known exactly how many years the event has been going on, but that it has become something of an community tradition.

“It is kind of an annual thing,” Murphy said. “We do it every year just to give out some free tree seedlings to the community.”

Tree seedling varieties available this year include bald cypress, grey dogwood, pecan, yellow poplar, pawpaw, shumard red oak, persimmon and white pine. The seedlings are limited to 10 per person, and will be available on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Murphy said that each tree seedling will come with instructions with planting instructions.

The event is sponsored by the Daviess County Conservation District, Daviess County Fiscal Court, Daviess County Parks and Recreation and the USDA/NRCS.

According to the National Forest Foundation, there are several benefits to planting tees. Planting trees improves biodiversity and natural wildlife habitats, and trees act as natural air filters, removing harmful pollutants from the air.

The organization estimates that 100 mature trees can remove as much as 53 tons of carbon dioxide and 430 pounds of pollution from the earth’s atmosphere in one-year. Also, the average carbon footprint of each American is roughly 20 tons of carbon dioxide each year, which takes 40 trees to offset.

In addition to purifying the air, trees are vitally important when it comes to both the water cycle and energy conservation. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, forested watersheds, “provide quality drinking water to more than 180 million Americans.” While trees placed around a building can reportedly reduce air conditioning needs by 30%.

For more information about the Annual Tree Seedling Giveaway, call 720-685-1707 ext. 3.

Nathan Havenner, Messenger-Inquirer, nhavenner@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-228-2837

Nathan Havenner, Messenger-Inquirer, nhavenner@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-228-2837

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