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For WWI centennial, aim is commemorative tree planted in all 75 Arkansas counties 

By Jake Sandlin
via the Arkansas Online web site

Trees planted around the world a century ago served as living reminders of soldiers who died during World War I, part of a reforestation effort and a way to create distinct memorials.

Arkansas treesBarry Cobbs (left) and Ethel Goodtein-Murphree plant a willow oak near Old Main and Gearhart Hall on the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville campus in a Nov. 17 ceremony marking the World War I centennial. Washington County is one of several where the commemorative oaks have already been planted. Photo by David Gottschalk During the centennial observance of "The Great War," memorial tree programs are again underway, with the goal in Arkansas to plant a specific commemorative willow oak in each of the state's 75 counties.

The state's program officially began in September and will continue through next year for the centennial observance of the United States' war involvement from April 6, 1917, to Nov. 11, 1918. Organizations in 47 counties, so far, have been approved to receive one of the memorial trees.

The commemorative tree program is a partnership of the Arkansas World War I Centennial Commemoration Committee and the Arkansas Forestry Commission.

The Centennial Committee manages the program and approves applications. The Arkansas Forestry Commission supplies the trees and lends its expertise in their care. More information is available online at

With exactly 75 willow oaks designated for the state's commemorative tree program, it's important that remaining counties have groups to file their applications as soon as possible to the Centennial Committee, said Mark Christ, the Department of Arkansas Heritage's designated committee member and spokesman for the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program.

Read the entire article on the Arkansas Online web site here:

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