The Arkansas World War I Centennial Commemoration Committee and the Arkansas Forestry Commission want to place a WWI Memorial Tree in each county before the centennial observance of the Great War concludes at the end of 2018.


The Arkansas Forestry Commission will donate a two-year old willow oak to an organization in each county that will plant the tree in a public location and see that it is cared for, according to a press release.


The WWI Committee will provide soil from the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in France to be included in the planting.


The committee urges partnerships of local governments, Scout troops, American Legion posts, public libraries and others to sponsor and plant a WWI memorial tree in a public park, courthouse square or other appropriate location during the centennial commemoration in 2017-18.


“This program will provide a living memorial to the thousands of Arkansans who served their country, many paying the ultimate sacrifices, during World War I,” Committee Chairman Shawn Fisher said.


Arkansas State Forester Joe Fox said the state is full of communities and civic groups who share pride in opportunities to memorialize WWI Veterans through this program.


“We are honored to donate trees and commit time from Arkansas Forestry Commission staff members across the state as a long lasting token of our appreciation to these great men and women,” Fox said.


Stacy Hurst is director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.


“The Department of Arkansas Heritage, which houses the WWI Committee, welcomes this opportunity to work with organizations around the state on this very special remembrance of the men and women who served in the Great War,” Hurst said.


Interested participants should complete an application at http://www.wwiarkansas.com/wwi-memorial-trees.


An AFC representative will contact accepted applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants should be ready to identify a tree planting site, and take responsibility for long-term maintenance of the tree. Applicants should be willing to host the delivery and planting of the tree, which will be completed by AFC representatives. Partners should plan a dedication ceremony for the WWI Memorial Tree.


Details: http://www.wwiarkansas.com/ or e-mail info@arkansaspreservation.org.