Forestry organizations are promoting tree planting virtually, according to a news release.


Launching its first #SelfieTree contest, the Arkansas Urban Forestry Council (AUFC), in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division, will give away trees for the best tree selfies over the next month.


The #SelfieTree is a Facebook contest by AUFC and the Forestry Division in honor of Arbor Day to promote tree planting across the state. Arkansans are encouraged to go outside and take a selfie with a tree, post it to Facebook using #SelfieTree and tag the Arkansas Urban Forestry Council.


“Though tree planting community events have been cancelled this year due to COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines, we still want to actively encourage Arkansans to learn about tree conservation,” said Anthony Whittington, AUFC president.


Arkansans with the most likes on the #SelfieTree post will win either a four-to five-foot-tall potted tree or 10 pin oak saplings. Winners will be announced on May 1, 8, 15 and 22.


“Studies have found that people who have access to trees, whether in their own yards or nearby in their communities, feel more empowered, less stressed, and better able to cope with illness and anxiety,” said Kristine Thomason, Urban & Community Forestry coordinator.


AUFC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of urban and community trees. The council’s role is to educate and promote good urban forest policies and management principles to Arkansas’s communities.


The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is dedicated to the development and implementation of policies and programs for Arkansas agriculture and forestry to keep its farmers and ranchers competitive in national and international markets while ensuring safe food, fiber, and forest products for the citizens of the state and nation.