AUFA Honors Prattville ReLeaf as Volunteer Project of the Year for 2009

July 23, 2009

After the tornado ravaged our eastern neighborhoods last February 18th, the City’s First Lady, Beverly Byard, noticed that there were few if any trees left in the storm-damaged area. While the city was blessed that there were no deaths and only two major injuries which have resulted in full recoveries, Beverly felt it in her heart that she wanted to do something for the affected area. Her plan was to plant a tree in every yard hit by the tornado. Combining efforts through her garden club, the Yaupon Garden Club, she enlisted our other area garden clubs, Down to Earth and Digger’s Delight, to make the City of Prattville’s Arbor Day 2009 a celebration with the planting of trees – one for each home, apartment, business and/or commercial property damaged by the storm. This was a very ambitious project for a community of our size, but the “Preferred Community” was more than able to meet the challenge.

On Saturday, February 21, 2009, approximately 300 volunteers from across the River Region and Alabama gathered on Sheila Boulevard at The Church of the Living Water for Arbor Day 2009/Prattville ReLeaf. Volunteers planted nearly 400 trees for homeowners impacted by the storm. An additional 100 trees were planted at area commercial and public sites in the weeks after the official event.

Beverly Byard accepting the AUFA Volunteer Project of the Year Award on behalf of the City of Prattville and all involved.
Beverly Byard speaking about Prattville ReLeaf and extending her thanks after being presented with the award.

On July 16, the Alabama Urban Forestry Association gave Prattville their “Volunteer Project of the Year for 2009” for Project ReLeaf.  On behalf of our city, the three garden clubs involved, and in fact all that helped with this project, Beverly Byard accepted the award at a ceremony in Auburn, Alabama.

"ReLeaf was a great environmental and community project," stated Beverly Byard. "It is an honor to receive state-wide recognition. Many thanks to all of the volunteers, donors, and contributors that made the effort a success."

Michelle Cole (Alabama Cooperative Extensive Service), Cuba Welch, Beverly Byard, Mayor Jim Byard, Jr., Nan Duke, and Joel Duke (City Planner)

Once again, the City of Prattville would like to thank all of the volunteers who led teams, dug holes, planted trees, loaded and unloaded trees, prepared food, served meals and refreshments, delivered pine straw and registered volunteers. The success of Prattville ReLeaf 2009 would not have been possible without their generous donation of time and labor.

Thank you to the following organizations and individuals for their generous contributions toward the success of Prattville ReLeaf 2009:

Alabama Cooperative Extension Service
Alabama Forestry Commission
Alabama Urban Forestry Association
Autauga County Fair Association
Autauga County Master Gardeners
Rick Beauchamp
Gerald and Debbie Boutelier
Buffalo Rock Company
Chick-fil-A – Wayne Grier
Church of the Living Water
City of Prattville
Dennis Motor Company
Digger’s Delight Garden Club
Down to Earth Garden Club
Representative H. Mac Gipson
Greenwood Growers, Inc.
Brian and Kathie Hendricks
Hungry Howie’s – Ken and Eunice Boehlke
Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, LLC
McDonalds – Buddy Rogers
National Disaster Relief Fund
National Garden Club
Prattville Medical Equipment
Prattville Service League
Carol Risher
Southern LINC
CeCe Watkins
Harry and Joan White
Winn Dixie
Yaupon Garden Club