Under cold but sunny skies, the Tallassee Chamber of Commerce celebrated Arbor Day in the downtown area of Tallassee. Chamber director Jerry Cunningham, chamber board of directors president Cheryl Henderson and chamber student ambassador Sinclair Cole spent much of Saturday morning handing out free trees on the corner of Barnett Boulevard and S. Ann Avenue.
This year, Alabama Power donated Chestnut Oaks, Pin Oaks and Saucer Magnolia.
Event coordinators started early at 7:30 a.m. and people came out to get the best pick as supplies lasted until just around 10 a.m.
"We had a lot of people here early (Saturday) morning," Cunningham said. "People know that supplies are limited so they know to get here early.”
Tallassee has participated in Arbor Day for many years and was recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management in 2016.
Tallassee achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program's four requirements — having a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of a least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
Trees provide multiple benefits to a community when properly planted and maintained. They help promote the visual appeal of a neighborhood, increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, remove air pollutants and provide wildlife habitat, among many other benefits.
Tallassee is one of more than 3,400 Tree City USA members.