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Gift of Green Program Provides Free Trees

10years ago, a local businessman created a program through which area residents can recieve free trees. The program's goal is to provide1 million trees for planting in the Ozarks. Over 160,000 trees have already been given away as part of the Gift of Green program. MikeSmith has the story:

With a goal of planting 1 million trees in the Ozarks, the Gift of Green Program will, on October 18th, give to the public, 2,500 Pine, and maple trees. Jack Herschend, founder of the Gift of Green Program, says over 160,000 trees have been given away in the first 10 years of the program.

Between now and October 18th, residents wanting trees may pick up as many as 5 tree vouchers from any Ozark Mountain Bank in Taney or Stone county. The vouchers will include directions to a tree farm near Branson where, on October 18th trees and mulch may be picked up free of charge. Jack Herschend tells KSMU News, that he credits his stepfather Hugo for his love of trees, and how the Gift of Green Program continues the environmental legacy of his mother Mary, who along with her two sons Jack, and Peter, founded the Silver Dollar City theme park.

Jack Herschend says recipients can of course plant the trees wherever they wish, but hopes the trees will be placed as to be seen by as many people as possible. Herschend says the Gift of Green Program is designed to keep going and growing for generations to come.

Additionally, the Gift of Green Program is donating over 300 pear, pine, and maple trees to communities affected by the tornadoes that hit the Ozarks last spring.