Groups return to Gifford to lay down new roots

GIFFORD--Last spring, volunteers planted more than 200 trees in the small village of Gifford after a tornado tore through it in November of 2013, but they weren't able to get to some of the hardest hit places in  town, so they came back this year to finish the job.

Around 100 volunteers got to gardening Saturday, prepping and planting 130 trees on properties around town, along with another 50 in the village's parks and countryside.

Overall, the effort to get Gifford growing brought almost 400 new trees to the town, while bringing help from all across Central Illinois to lay down the new roots.

"The volunteers are from Rotary Clubs across the areas, Lion's Clubs, just volunteers off the street, and [Champaign County] Farm Bureau members of course too," said one of the project managers, Bill Malone. "The best part is it's a lot of different people from a lot of different groups all pulling together."

The trees were paid for mostly through donations and grants.

Malone estimates that the total cost for all the trees planted is between $120,000-$150,000.
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