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Kids and Families Connect With Nature Under Cool Canopy Of Trees This Summer in Atlanta

06/12/09

For more information, contact

Arbor Day Foundation
Anthony Marek

ATLANTA, (June 12, 2009) – Atlanta is receiving a lot more shade for those hot summer months as a forest of fun and inspiration plants its roots at Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta this week – thanks to the grand opening of the "Exploring Trees Inside and Out" Traveling exhibit. Presented by Doubletree® Hotels and the Arbor Day Foundation®, this three-year environmental education project encourages family members of all ages to explore the beauty of the great outdoors through the incredible wonders of trees. The exhibit will be on display at the Children's Museum from June 13th through September 13th, 2009. This is the fifth location in the country to showcase "Exploring Trees Inside and Out."

Developed by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Dimensions Educational Research Foundation, the spacious, 2,500-square-foot exhibit is designed to create a better understanding among children age two to 10 about the significant role trees play in the environment. A variety of inventive and interactive activities allow children to explore trees in a multi-sensory way never before possible through its fun-packed and educational components. For example, children will be able to:

Crawl through a log and experience it as a habitat for other living things

Help a seed "grow" into a young oak inside a huge acorn

Explore the "heart" of a tree trunk and move the "blood" of the tree up and down its "veins"

Smell scents from various trees, then discover just a few of the many products we get from trees

Hear the sounds of animals that live in trees, and even become a forest creature in a "green screen" experience that allows children to fly like a bird and soar over the treetops

"Doubletree Hotels and the Arbor Day Foundation have worked together to encourage kids and adults of all ages about the importance of trees in our everyday lives. As a result, we've proudly helped to plant more than 250,000 trees in cities across North America during the past five years," said Mary Beth Parks, vice president – brand marketing for Doubletree Hotels. "Exploring Trees Inside and Out" is a natural extension of this growing relationship, which already has inspired the natural enjoyment of more than 350,000 people at four previous stops in Seattle, St. Louis, Orlando and Pittsburgh. We hope the exhibit will continue to inspire thousands of residents and summer travelers in Atlanta to get outside and explore the natural wonders outside their front doors."

Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta has created special daily programming to accompany Exploring Trees Inside and Out which will bring to life the exhibit's learning concepts. The Imaginators, a professional troupe of actors and educators, will engage children with activities and performances including an original 20-minute mini-musical, "Tulie's Roots," written by Imaginator Yolanda Hernandez.

"We are thrilled to bring Exploring Trees Inside and Out to the children of Atlanta," said Jane Turner, the Executive Director of Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta. "The goal of Imagine It! has always been to provide unique learning opportunities for children. This exhibit will enable us to provide our visitors a fun, interactive way to connect with nature through play. We think everyone who experiences this wonderful traveling exhibit will be amazed and leave with a greater appreciation of the natural world."

Following Atlanta, the exhibit will travel to Boston in September 2009. The exhibit will continue its tour to several of the top science centers and children's museums across the U.S. through the end of 2010.

Imagine It! Children's Museum of Atlanta has taken an important leadership role in a profoundly needed initiative to connect young children with nature, setting a wonderful example for children's museums across the country," said John Rosenow, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "Everyone at the Arbor Day Foundation appreciate the commitment that Doubletree Hotels and Imagine It! Children's Museum of Atlanta have made as a result of this exhibit to inspire and educate both children and adults on the role that nature plays in our everyday lives," commented Rosenow.

Entry to "Exploring Trees Inside and Out" is included with admission to Imagine It! Children's Museum of Atlanta. Hours are: Monday through Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $12.50 plus tax for adults and children ages 2 and above; children under 2 are free. Imagine It! is located at 275 Centennial Olympic Park Drive NW. The Museum is closed for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. For more information or to support Imagine It!, visit their new website at www.childrensmuseumatlanta.org or call 404.659.KIDS [5437].

The Nature Explore traveling exhibit "Exploring Trees Inside and Out" is nationally and locally sponsored by Doubletree Hotels.

For more information about the everyday importance of trees and the "Exploring Trees Inside and Out" Traveling exhibit, please visit www.doubletree.com/thinktrees.

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About Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta
Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta is a non-profit organization offering a family-friendly space filled with interactive and educational exhibits for children age eight and under. The Museum's mission is to spark imagination and inspire discovery and learning for all children through the power of play. Their permanent collection consists of bright, creative, hands-on exhibits that are designed to give children an opportunity to learn through play. Imagine It! also offers parties, memberships and field trip tours. For more information or to support Imagine It! visit at www.childrensmuseumatlanta.org or call 404.659.KIDS [5437].

About the Arbor Day Foundation
The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization of nearly one million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at www.arborday.org.

About Doubletree Hotels
With a growing collection of contemporary, upscale accommodations in more than 200 gateway cities, metropolitan areas and vacation destinations worldwide, Doubletree Hotels, Guest Suites and Resorts are distinctively designed properties that provide true comfort to today's business and leisure travelers. From the millions of delighted hotel guests who are welcomed with the brand's legendary, warm chocolate chip cookies at check-in to the advantages of the award-winning Hilton HHonors® guest reward program, each Doubletree guest receives a satisfying stay wherever their travels take them.

Doubletree is part of Hilton Hotels Corporation, the leading global hospitality company with more than 3,000 hotels and 500,000 rooms in 74 countries and territories, with more than 135,000 team members worldwide. The company owns, manages or franchises some of the best known and highly regarded hotel brands including Hilton®, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Doubletree®, Embassy Suites Hotels®, Hampton Inn®, Hampton Inn & Suites®, Hilton Garden Inn®, Hilton Grand Vacations™, Homewood Suites by Hilton® and The Waldorf=Astoria Collection™.

To make reservations at any Doubletree hotel, travelers can visit our website at www.doubletree.com, contact their preferred travel professional or call 1-800-222-TREE in the U.S. and Canada.