RETREET, along with its partners, is hosting a Volunteer Planting Event Saturday, Nov. 16.

Eligible property owners can request trees at this time.

Only the owner of an impacted property may ask for trees. Requests must be submitted online through RETREET’s website (www.retreet.org/aransascounty).

A coalition of regional and national partners will lead volunteers in planting up to 150 native 15-gallon trees, free of charge, at the homes of residents of Aransas County affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Representatives of RETREET and its partners will work with those who submit requests to determine the best planting locations at each home site. Volunteers from across the country will join local residents in planting the trees.

This volunteer planting event will address an often-overlooked part of the recovery process. Trees are destroyed alongside infrastructure and housing in every disaster.

While bringing life back to an area produces an immense psychological impact by making unfamiliar, decimated landscapes feel like home again, there are almost no resources available to do this unique work.

Most people struggling through the recovery process do not have time, energy, or funds required to replace their lost trees. Furthermore, they may not know which trees should be planted where, or when it is best to do so.

Of everything lost, mature trees are what will take the longest to replace.

“It’s been a long journey back. RETREET’s volunteers and trees helped my community fill voids left by the devastation, and brings smiles as we watch them grow – a symbol that life is returning and this will be a great place to live again,” said Moore, OK resident Rebecca Kasbaum, reflecting about the impact RETREET’s work has had in her community following an EF5 tornado that devastated Moore on May 20, 2013.

This planting will be a major environmental and infrastructural investment that will leave a legacy for generations to come. These trees, which serve as powerful symbols of hope, will help reestablish the environmental identity of Aransas County, providing shade for people and habitat for birds and other wildlife.

RETREET intends to spread its programs to other communities in the area rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey, and is committed to hosting numerous plantings during the next several years.

Inquiries about this planting or future events and offers of support or participation can be submitted to RETREET through its website (www.retreet.org).

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