Nebraska City, Nebraska, November 23, 2005 -- Among the casualties of Hurricane Katrina was a significant amount of the tree cover of America’s Gulf Coast. To help with the restoration, The National Arbor Day Foundation, in cooperation with the National Audubon Society, has announced a special new campaign to assist in the region’s tree recovery efforts. Through the KATRINA TREE RECOVERY CAMPAIGN, people across America will have the opportunity to help replant trees in coastal Mississippi and Louisiana, and begin the reforestation of neighborhoods and cities across the region. For every $10 donated to the KATRINA TREE RECOVERY CAMPAIGN, the Arbor Day Foundation will contribute 10 trees to be planted by Katrina victims.
"This is an important way to help those who have suffered the loss of vital trees," said Arbor Day Foundation President John Rosenow. "Through their contribution, supporters throughout America will make it possible for people in Mississippi and Louisiana to plant native trees to counter some of the destruction caused by Katrina. Trees add beauty and conservation benefits to back yards and natural areas. This is an important way to help restore the land and rebuild communities."
The tree species that will be distributed and planted in Mississippi and Louisiana include Baldcypress, Eastern Redcedar, Red Maple, and Red Oak, all of which are hardy species that are native in these areas. Native trees and natural habitats are important assets for human communities on the Gulf Coast and are vital to many birds, including millions of birds that migrate across the Gulf of Mexico and depend on trees, forests and other habitats to provide crucial feeding and resting areas.
Distribution of the trees will be managed by Audubon Mississippi's Coastal Project Office and its director, Dr. Mark LaSalle, who will work with Audubon Chapters and other civic and community groups in the region to distribute the trees.
"Trees are much loved by homeowners and communities across the Gulf Coast region," said Dr. LaSalle. "There is a great desire to replace these cherished and important components of everyday life. A vast network of volunteers are already at work rehabilitating damaged trees and are anxious to begin the process of planting new ones."
The Arbor Day Foundation’s John Rosenow commended the work of Audubon Mississippi and the resilience of Gulf Coast residents and their volunteer spirit. "The people of Mississippi and Louisiana are working together to restore what was lost," he said. "All those who support the KATRINA TREE RECOVERY CAMPAIGN are making a real contribution to that effort." In recognition of their commitment, Rosenow said the Foundation will provide each donor of $10 or more a free membership, including a subscription to the Foundation’s bimonthly publication, Arbor Day, and other information on tree planting and care.
To help hurricane victims replant these devastated areas, send your contribution to the KATRINA TREE RECOVERY CAMPAIGN, National Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410, or contribute online at arborday.org/katrina.
The National Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit, environmental education organization of nearly a 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 arborday.org.
Audubon is celebrating its centennial year of protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Its national network of community-based nature centers and chapters, scientific and educational programs, and advocacy on behalf of areas sustaining important bird populations, engage millions of people of all ages and backgrounds in positive conservation experiences.