The Licking County Soil and Water Conservation District's annual seedling-tree sale ended last month, and customers picked up their purchases at the district's Newark office April 8.

The Licking County Soil and Water Conservation District's annual seedling-tree sale ended last month, and customers picked up their purchases at the district's Newark office April 8.

The trees arrived from their nurseries April 6 and FFA students from Northridge High School near Johnstown helped wrap the thousands of seedlings to prep them for pickup.

Also helping were members of the Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Program and Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalists, who are accredited through an Extension program.

According to Denise Natoli Brooks, program administrator an environmental-education specialist for the district, 44,000 trees were sold this year and 2,500 more will be given to students from various schools, courtesy of the district's annual giving campaign.

In comparison, last year, 40,000 tree seedlings were sold and 4,000 were given to students.

The conservation district also handed out 225 packets of milkwood for free.

The milkweed, which is necessary for the survival of monarch butterflies, is part of a statewide movement known as the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative.