City to give away trees do­nated by Wal­ton Foun­da­tion

Westside Eagle-Observer - - NEWS - Staff Re­ports

DE­CATUR — Mayor Bob Tharp of De­catur re­cently re­ceived word that the Wal­ton Fam­ily Foun­da­tion had com­pleted a grant to do­nate trees to dif­fer­ent cities in North­west Ar­kan­sas — a list of cities that did not in­clude De­catur.

Tharp con­tacted the Wal­ton Fam­ily Foun­da­tion re­quest­ing that De­catur be­come a re­cip­i­ent of the grant. At the time, the grant was closed. The Wal­ton Foun­da­tion looked into the sit­u­a­tion and dis­cov­ered that there was still some grant money left and gra­ciously granted the mayor’s re­quest. De­catur will re­ceive 90 trees in to­tal.

The va­ri­ety of trees the city re­cently re­ceived in­cluded Mo­hawk Viburnum, Oc­to­ber Glory Red Maple, Mo­hawk Pe­can, Bub­ble Gum Red­bud, Tulip Tree, Jane Mag­no­lia, Wil­low Oak and Bald Cy­press. The do­na­tion from the foun­da­tion to­taled $2,304. The trees ar­rived on Nov. 1 from Park Hill, Okla., and are com­pli­ant cer­ti­fied with the Na­tional Plant Board stan­dards of pest free­dom.

When the mayor re­ceived the trees, there was a huge de­ci­sion to make on how to give these trees to the ci­ti­zens of De­catur and make it fair to all of its ci­ti­zens, which was a re­quire­ment of the Wal­ton Foun­da­tion. A list of De­catur ci­ti­zens was printed from the wa­ter de­part­ment billing soft­ware. With help from city em­ploy­ees, the ac­count num­bers were cut from the list and placed into a bowl to be drawn out.

The mayor drew out 90 ac­count num­bers. Those num­bers were then looked up and a list of ci­ti­zens’ names and ad­dresses was formed. Win­ners will be no­ti­fied by mail dur­ing the week of Nov. 5.

The trees will be avail­able for pickup dur­ing the week of Nov. 13 through Nov. 16 at the city of­fices from 8 a.m. un­til 4:30 p.m. If a win­ner can­not make that time, he or she may call city hall to sched­ule a pickup time on the fol­low­ing Satur­day, Nov. 17. If for some rea­son, a win­ner does not want the tree, he or she will need to no­tify City Hall so that an­other name may be drawn.

Tharp ex­pressed grat­i­tude to the Wal­ton Fam­ily Foun­da­tion and the Green­leaf Nurs­ery Com­pany for mak­ing this fall tree give­away pos­si­ble.

West­side Ea­gle Ob­server/MIKE ECKELS

Bob Tharp (left), De­catur mayor, draws names from a bowl held by Sheila Verser at City Hall Oct. 31. The win­ning names will re­ceive a free tree do­nated to the city by the Wal­ton Fam­ily Foun­da­tion of Ben­tonville.

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