BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — Two Belvidere businesses are giving away free trees to help speed up recovery efforts from an EF1 tornado that struck the city on March 31st.

Nico’s Landscaping and Berkshire Hathaway Starck Real Estate are donating free trees on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22nd.

“Belvidere was kind of hit hard by the tornado. So I think it’s can be good for the community. We’ll get a lot of people out there and hopefully get a lot of trees planted,” said Nico’s Landscaping’s Nico Riza.

The goal is to plant 200 seedlings to replenish trees lost in the tornado.

Reza says the effort is a small part to help the community re-beautify.

“We got like a variety of different stuff. There’ll be some maples and some lilacs and just a bunch of different stuff. So, yeah, it’d be great if people could come out and support and I’ll come grab a tree or two,” he said.

Debbie Carlson, with Berkshire Hathaway Starck, said many people in Belvidere are trying to find ways to help the community recover.

“A lot of the trees that did go down were 100 plus years. So it takes a long time to get to that point. And it’s important that we also replenish,” she said.

Each seedling is wrapped with instructions on how to handle and plant the trees.

Carlson says she would like “to see something positive happening, in light of everything that’s negative that’s happened, and just to see the people come downtown and not just because of a disaster.”

Both Carlson and Reza said they hope to make the tree giveaway an annual tradition.

“There’s never too many trees in the area. So I definitely hope that this is a good event and we keep going with it and we hope to see as many people as we can there on Saturday,” Reza said.

The tree seedlings will be available for pickup at Berkshire Hathaway Starck Real Estate, at 319 S. State Street in downtown Belvidere, on Saturday.