JOPLIN, Mo. —
What could be the largest single planting of trees in Joplin’s history is set to unfold Saturday when nearly 900 volunteers from across the state converge on the city to plant 1,200 trees.
Chris Fenske, an organizer of Rooting for Joplin, said the 6-foot-tall, container-grown trees, supplied by Honey Creek Nursery of Grove, Okla., will be delivered on Thursday to Missouri Southern State University.
The trees will be delivered on Friday to houses where the volunteers will plant them on Saturday. They will be delivered to each site by school buses.
Students from Joplin High School will serve as tour guides on the buses.
The trees are oak, elm, maple, redbud and red buckeye.
The day will conclude with a closing ceremony at 3 p.m. at the university.
Rooting for Joplin is a statewide project of Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda, a nonprofit education association that has 10,000 Missouri students preparing for business careers.
The project raised approximately $25,000 to purchase the trees and mulch, and to be able to provide a hot dog to the volunteers for lunch. T-shirts for the volunteers were purchased for $5,000 by Beverly Block, a business professor at Southern.
“We’re are hoping to have close to $5,000 left over. We want the remainder of the funds to go to the landscaping of Joplin High School,’’ Fenske said.
The idea stems from a tree-planting project the FBLA in Pierce City took on after a devastating tornado there in May 2003.