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Get trees for free Friday

NATCHEZ — The Adams County Soil and Water Conservation District will be giving out free loblolly pine seeds to the public on Arbor Day as a part of the statewide “Tree Planting Week.”

The seedlings will be handed out on a first come, first served basis from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at the USDA Service Center on Northgate Drive.

Adams County SWCD Coordinator Pat Williams said “Tree Planting Week” has been around for a long time, and is meant to help residents understand the importance of trees.

“It is just a celebration of trees and life and how we use and value them in our everyday lives,” she said.

Groups from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service and other sponsoring agencies will be visiting area elementary schools throughout the week to pass out the seedling to Adams County third graders, Williams said.

“We go out and share information with them to get them thinking about trees and the values that they bring to their everyday lives,” she said.

Williams said along with giving the students seedlings, students will receive instructions on how to plant the trees in their yards.

“This way the students can go home to their parents and have something to plant in their backyard that they can watch grow,” she said. “All the teachers tell us every year how much the students love it when we come out.”

The groups going to the schools will also be planting a tree at each school so the children can watch it grow while they attend school, Williams said.

As a part of a service to the community, local school groups and other organizations will be hand wrapping the seedlings that were donated by the Adams County SWCD.

The SWCD will also be selling seedlings on Arbor Day, with the proceeds going to support school programs for Conservation Youth Camp, Safety Day, poster contest and other conservation educational programs.

The seeds will be sold from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the garage of the USDA Service Center, and will feature a variety of tree species, Williams said.

Fruit tree seedlings will also be sold and include Red Delicious apple, Elberta peach, Moonglow pear and Stanley plum.

Williams said the supply on the fruit trees are limited, so anyone interested in purchasing them needs to come early.

Williams also said the seedlings are one and a half feet in height and will be individually labeled and wrapped as purchased and sold on a first come first serve basis.

No special orders or reservations will be taken, Williams said.

The SWCD has been celebrating “Tree Planting Week” for 37 years and really enjoys providing this service to the community, Williams said.

“We look forward to doing this every year,” she said. “It means so much to the students, and it is something that everyone needs to be a part of.”

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