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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Garden offers trees, lessons to ice victims

FAYETTEVILLE - Lured by the promise of a free tree, some 350 people funneled through the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks on Saturday.

Morning showers and cool temperatures forced the program inside the Carl A. Totemeier Horticulture Center but didn't keep people from coming from all over the area to claim their free tree.

The program, Replant Northwest Arkansas, was intended to foster replacement of trees lost in January's major ice storm. Saturday's rainy weather was blamed for a smaller crowd than expected, so some people got more than one tree, said Sarah King, garden spokesman.

King said there were about 100 seedlings left at 1 p.m., but another 500 had gone home with people eager to put them in the ground.

Many among those in attendance were interested in restoring their property to pre-ice storm foliage levels.

"I've got 2 acres of brush," said Gerald Cartar, of Elkins.

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The painting is by Ferdinand Hodler

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