Arbor Day In South Mississippi

Hurricane Katrina destroyed thousands of trees along the Gulf Coast. Two years later, there are still hundreds of dead trees and empty land where trees once stood.

Saturday, many southern states are celebrated Arbor Day, a holiday where people around the nation plant trees. People in Mississippi say it's the the perfect day to continue rebuilding the coast.

"It's like a birthday party for me. That way I know that we are going to have something beautiful, so I look forward to it," says JoAnna Hudson.

Hudson is just one of the many people celebrating Arbor Day.

The Long Beach woman considers herself an environmentalist. She says not only do trees give life, but they save lives as well.

"If it hadn't have been for the trees, we would have lost more than we did," Hudson said.

That's why she went to West Side Park to get enough trees to plant for herself and her friends.

Britt Hubbard with the Mississippi Forestry Commission says while many states plant trees on the April 26th holiday, the winter season is the best time to plant on the Gulf Coast.

"The whole coast area lost a lot of the benefits the trees naturally give the communities. So it's important for us to start rebuilding that green infrastructure and our urban forests, so we can have cleaner air," Hubbard said.

The Mississippi Forestry Commission say that trees are a vital part of South Mississippi's history. That's why on this Arbor Day they gave out thousands of Live Oak and Bald Cyprus Trees. Now they are hoping that people will do their part to help revitalize South Mississippi.

In Ocean Springs, nearly 7,000 seedling trees were passed out as a part of the Arbor Day festivities.

From red spruce to pine and other native species, hundreds of residents snatched up the tiny trees to take home to their front yards.

There were also Arbor Day Give-a-ways in Gautier, Pass Christian and Bay St. Louis.