City to give away trees donated by Walton Foundation
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.
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.