Help Replant Joplin

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JOPLIN - If the trees in Joplin could talk, they would have a lot to say. Their devastation is written all over. Thousands of trees were damaged in the tornado and Missouri State Parks is ready to help rebuild.

Bill Bryan, the Director of Missouri State Parks said he can't recognize spots that used to be parks. He walked right past Cunningham Park. He didn't even know it until he had already close to the hospital. Cunningham Park is destroyed.

Chris Cotten is the Director of Parks, Recreation, and Cemeteries in Joplin. After the tornado first hit, Cotten said he thought dealing with the trees would be manageable but soon realized differently.

"The damage to the parks is extensive," he said.

One Columbia group is helping out. State Park Youth Core workers are helping Director Cotten clean up the park and get ready to be redeveloped and reopen for recreation. Cotten said the state is in the midst of putting a plan together.

"Once we lay out a plan to start putting the trees back, we'll take tree donations and trees are not cheap, so that's something to consider," he said.

Missouri State Parks has a viral Plan. They are offering everyone the chance to help plant a tree, without lifting a shovel. Odwalla Juice and Nutrition Bar Company has a nation wide plant a tree campaign. Any tree donated through the program will go straight to Joplin.

Bryan said a vote for Missouri State Parks is a vote for Joplin city parks. Once trees come in,

"I'm confident that working with Joplin and so many volunteers who have already been here that we'll have plenty of volunteers to come out and plant the trees, when Joplin is ready," he said.

If you're interested in helping replant Joplin through the Odwalla campaign, check out the website here. All you have to do is type in an email and validate it. Voting ends September 1st.