Wednesday, August 10, 2011
The Phoenix Group is still trying to raise funds to replant trees lost to the devastating April 27 tornado and is now also looking for at least 100 volunteers to help plant trees.
“Our tree planting starting ceremony will be the sixth month after the tornado,” said Raye Brooks, who makes up the group’s membership along with David Dunn and Ken Poston. “We will plant the first tree October 27 on the Catoosa County Courthouse lawn. We are looking at an October Glory Maple Tree, but waiting on Catoosa County approval. We will hopefully purchase 1,000 trees to plant.”
Brooks said through a recent Rhythm & Brews concert showcasing the band Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ and singers Eric Baker, Channing Wilson and Nathan Farrow, the Phoenix Group raised $7,940 to purchase trees to plant in Ringgold. The group also received pledges for $6,000 including a $2,500 pledge from Modern Woodmen of the World and $3,500 in anonymous pledges.
Landscaper Ken Pitts, who lost 100 trees in the tornado on his Ooltewah-Ringgold Road property, will plant the first tree on the courthouse lawn.
All businesses and homeowners that lost trees in the tornado will receive one tree. Brooks said trees can be planted beginning in October throughout the fall.
“In the October event, we want to put several trees in the ground that weekend,” she said. “We are discussing which types of trees are best with Catoosa County. We want to give residents choices from a variety of trees.
“Losing the trees changed the landscape. Trees used to make such a nice canopy in Ringgold. We had huge 100-year and 200-year-old trees as landmarks. Now it’s just barren land with no shade, no canopy and no landmarks. You don’t realize the beauty trees give you until you lose every single one of them.”
She said tree seedlings will also be purchased with money left to give to school groups to plant as classroom projects.
• To volunteer or donate to the Phoenix Group’s tree planting efforts in Ringgold, contact Raye Brooks at 706-935-2844. Make donation checks payable to Trees for Ringgold. Checks can be mailed to Ringgold Art and Frame Gallery, at 7825 Nashville St., Ringgold, GA 30736.