A nursery owner has donated 81 magnolia trees to the city of Columbus to replace some of those destroyed in an April 19 tornado in Columbus.
“That area was mutilated wasn’t it,” Neal Womack said Wednesday.
Womack, the owner of To-Mar Garden Center, said children wouldn’t have a place to play if trees weren’t replaced in the parks and other areas. At least 200 trees were lost in Columbus when the tornado swept along the 13th Street corridor, causing damage in Lakebottom, MidTown and Wynnton.
Mayor Jim Wetherington and other city officials praised Womack for the gift during Tuesday’s Columbus Council meeting.
Two varieties of magnolias were donated. They will grow 40-50 foot tall. Crews already are planting the trees in the damaged areas, said Lisa Goodwin, deputy city manager.
In a successful business for more than three decades, Womack said he donated the trees two weeks ago to give back to Columbus. “Columbus has been good to me,” he said. “It’s time Neal gave something back.”