COLUMBIA — The city of Columbia will hold a tree giveaway Saturday to honor Arbor Day.
TreeKeepers volunteers and Columbia Parks and Recreation Department forestry staff will distribute close to 1,000 bare-root seedlings.
The tree giveaway will begin at 8 a.m. in the parking lot of the Activity and Recreation Center, 1701 W. Ash St., and will continue until all of the trees are taken.
Twelve species will be available, including: black chokeberry, bur oak, bald cypress, hazelnut, northern red oak, pitch/loblolly pine, serviceberry, ninebark, black cherry, black walnut, swamp white oak and flowering dogwood.
People will be able to take two trees of different species.
The forestry staff and TreeKeepers volunteers will be available to answer any tree questions from the public.
The TreeKeepers program was established in 1997 as a partnership between Columbia's Office of Volunteer Services, the Parks and Recreation Department and the Missouri Department of Conservation.
TreeKeepers volunteers complete a course on tree identification, planting, pruning and other management topics. In 2012, 63 TreeKeepers gave 351 hours of service, valued at more than $7,500, to the city. The next TreeKeepers class will begin in early 2014.
For more information about the tree giveaway, people can call Volunteer Programs at 874-7499 or visit www.GoColumbiaMo.com.