ELLABELLE, Ga. (WSAV) – Nearly a year ago, Georgia’s deadliest tornado of 2022 touched down in Bryan County, leaving a devastating path of destruction. On Friday, seeds of restoration were planted in Hendrix Park.

The Bryan County Tree Commission, Savannah Tree Foundation and volunteers planted 32 trees around the baseball fields, replacing ones destroyed by the storm.

“Many people know Ellabelle lost a lot of trees, especially at Hendrix Park during the tornado last year,” says Zoe Rinker, executive director of Savannah Tree Foundation. “When we decided we wanted to plant here in Bryan, we reached out to our friends at the Coastal Bryan Tree Foundation and asked where we could best plant, and they got us here.”

Rinker says Hendrix Park was a perfect spot to plant the trees.

“Trees are such a multipurpose tool for creating better communities. Ballfield shade and air quality are really important when the kids are playing in these fields,” says Rinker. “It helps with storm management. These fields get kind of wet, and these help absorb the water.”

Volunteers understand the importance of environmental upkeep, especially after the tornado.

“I think it’s really important to make sure that every generation, the current generation, future generation have something that they enjoy from an environment perspective, and I want to make sure that the trees we provide on a daily basis don’t want that to be lost in future generations,” says volunteer Prammammav Shetty.

Even vacationers pitched in, like Jennifer Connell from Massachusetts.

“I love trees. We need more of them. I wish in my own community we did a lot more things like this,” she tells News 3.

As for the types of trees, Hendrix Park will see quite a variety.

“We’re planting some Jade Magnolias and some Bald Cypress. I think that’s all we got right some, but we’ve got all natives,” says Rinker.

Savannah Tree Foundation plans to plant 150 trees in Chatham, Effingham, and Bryan counties, but Friday’s project is just the beginning.

Rinker says 30 more trees will be planted Saturday, Feb. 25 in Effingham County.