LEESVILLE -- A Farmerville, La., nursery is donating 100 crepe myrtle trees to Gallery One Ellleven for planting in the City of Leesville.

Gallery One Ellleven is spearheading the project.

Tony McDonald, gallery coordinator, said he was contacted by Trey’s Landscape and Nursery after the owner heard about the "Peace Poles" project at the city's Magnolia Park.

"Peace Poles" was an art project by Leesville Junior High School art teacher Isabelle Massart-Bursh and her students, part of an international art movement to promote peace around the world. The sculpture art was placed at the park last year.

McDonald said the owner was touched by the project and offered up the trees -- in white, pink and lavender -- and he gladly accepted.

Some area civic organizations and businesses are helping to cover the delivery costs, including Friends of Main Street, Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club, Art 4 the Parks Committee, Rotary Club, The Leesville Mayor’s Women’s Commission and Byrd Regional Hospital, as well as Gallery One Ellleven. Business owner Cindy Wann-Jeane is offering up space to store the trees.

McDonald addressed the Leesville City Council on Monday and asked the city's public works department for assistance with the planting.

"Basically, it takes a backhoe, an operator and some laborers -- and some guidance from us where they go, how they go and what we do with them," McDonald said. "We've got a pretty good map. We're still honing down exactly where we think they need to go."

Mayor Rick Allen thanked McDonald for taking on the project and said the public works department would be happy to assist.

"We are prepared to get to planting," Allen said.

McDonald said crepe myrtles are ideal because they are hearty trees and bloom all summer.

"It will be a tremendous, colorful improvement to the city," he said.

McDonald said some areas being eyed to plant the trees are parks, boulevards and right of ways. He's aiming to have the trees planted by March 15.

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