Group helping to revive landscape after 2012 tornado outbreak

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - On March 2, 2012, deadly tornadoes killed about two dozen people and destroyed hundreds of homes. The tornados also uprooted hundreds of thousands of trees. Now a group is working to replant trees in the areas hit the hardest.

To help the landscape recover, the Kentucky Division of Forestry and the Arbor Day Foundation created the Kentucky Community Tree Recovery Campaign. They are distributing 25,000 trees to people living in Campbell, Menifee, Wolfe, Laurel and Johnson County.

Homeowners can choose which seedlings they want and get planting and care materials.

Fire departments, extension offices and city halls are distributing the trees. Corporations such as LexMark and FedEx are paying for them.They are also sending volunteers to help plant them in neighborhoods and parks.

Ultimately, organizers hope the seedlings will grow to be much more than trees.

"Planting a tree is an expression of hope. So, any time you're planting a tree, you're hoping it's going to grow. It's going to leaf out. It's going to provide all the benefits that trees provide," said Leah Macswords, the Director of the Ky. Division of Forestry.

Five more counties will get 25,000 more trees next year.

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