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Pictured from left, Alexander, Eli and Chloe Boyce work together as a family to figure out the best way to plant their Eastern Redbud seedling.

The Greensville/Emporia Virginia Cooperative Extension gave trees to the Emporia community in honor of Earth Day. 

4-H Extension Agent Hannah Parker said the Virginia Cooperative Extension’s annual Growing Kids and Trees Annual Hardwood Seedlings Project was created to improve water quality by restoring forest cover to residential and riparian lands.

“Through this project, local youth and their families learn about the importance of trees, how to properly plant them, and how to properly care for them,” Parker said. 

The project encourages youth to take home free hardwood seedlings to plant at their homes and in their neighborhoods with their families and involves a tree-planting demonstration.  

Growing Kids and Trees Annual Hardwood Seedlings Project usually takes place in local schools, but because schools closed, the Greensville/Emporia Virginia Cooperative Extension partnered with Jarratt Hardware in Jarratt.The trees were given out at the Greensville/Emporia Virginia Cooperative Extension office the week of April 6. 

“It’s so important to keep our Earth clean and safe. It provides so much for us and it’s so beautiful,” Parker said.

The Greensville/Emporia Virginia Cooperative Extension reached out to over 100 youth and their families through the project while still following the Center for Disease Control’s social distancing guidelines. 

The tree seedlings given out were Eastern Redbuds, Silky Dogwoods, and Red Maples. Parker packaged and labeled the tree seedlings. Some seedlings were delivered to homes, and some were picked up at the local Extension Office at staggered times to ensure social distancing and safety. 

“We are happy to have been able to help our community families in this small way. We hope that the tree seedling will bring you and your family joy, and that all of our community youth and families stay safe during these difficult times,” Parker said.

The Greensville/Emporia Virginia Cooperative Extension asked people who received a tree seedling to share their tree planting photos on the GreensvilleEmporia 4-H Facebook page.