To commemorate Birmingham's message of 50 Years Forward," closing out the city's yearlong anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement; fifty trees will be planted. The "Freedom Oak" trees will be planted at Red Mountain Park this spring. However, a kickoff event will be held this weekend.
Birmingham Mayor William A. Bell, Sr., music legend William "Bootsy" Collins, former NFL player Gary Burley and Birmingham Botanical Gardens will host a kickoff event for the planting. The event will feature a tour of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and a premier video from music legend "Bootsy" Collins. Burley says, "We have selected Red Mountain Park as the planting site in part due to its historical significance in the building and development of Birmingham."
The Freedom Oak tree is a native species grown from locally collected seeds. It is rarely seen in commerce, but is an essential part of local landscapes. Each seed can live for multiple human generations. The planting will be an annual event to remind future generations of Birmingham's historical connections to the Civil Rights Movement and promote a new era of progress for the city.