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Cookeville Strong Memorial Tree Grove Planting

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cookeville Strong Memorial Tree Grove Planting

19 trees will be planted Saturday in remembrance of the 19 lives lost during the March tornado.

It is the Cookeville Strong Memorial Tree Grove.

Cookeville Urban Forester Jaime Nunan said Saturday is about bringing the city and county together to remember and move forward.

“There’s been so much hurt and devastation and things lost over the last year and during the tornado and I think we’re finally to a point where we’re ready to build back up,” Nunan said. “I think this will be just a great first step in that direction of something, everyone can come together and build and we can watch grow for the rest of time while everybody’s here and I think it will be really great to just build everybody back up.”

The tree planting will begin Saturday at 9:00 AM and the meeting spot is the Sportsplex parking lot. Nunan said she hopes people continue to come back to this memorial site as the community heals.

Nunan said the decision to create the tree grove at the Sportsplex made sense because of the location’s significance during the tornado and its aftermath.

“While everyone was out there working the Sportsplex seemed to be a gathering spot during really, the week of,” Nunan said. “When we were thinking of a place to do that, I thought this would be a really great location, it’s kind of where the tornado has picked up.”

Nunan said no matter where someone is in the community, she hopes they come out to help with the planting. She said Saturday will be a chance to create a space for Cookeville to come back to.

“I hope everyone gets to use it as much as I think the community will,” Nunan said. “I’ve had a lot of family members reach out and everyone’s so excited for this.”

Nunan said volunteers should dress accordingly with the weather and bring face masks and their own tools if possible. There will be staff to sign volunteer hour forms if that is needed.


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