Contacts: Sally Montgomery
National Audubon Society
Woodrow L. Nelson
The National Arbor Day Foundation
More Than 18,000 Trees to Be Distributed During a Second Tree Giveaway
Moss Point, MS, August 15, 2006 -- Launched last year by National Audubon Society and The National Arbor Day Foundation, the Katrina Tree Recovery Campaign has distributed over 25,000 free trees to residents of coastal Mississippi and southeastern Louisiana - and thousands more are on the way. As the prime fall planting season approaches, the Arbor Day Foundation will deliver at least 18,000 additional trees for a second tree giveaway program.
The Campaign, which was created in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, is designed to help with the region's tree recovery efforts. To date, donations from members of The Arbor Day Foundation and other citizens spanning 43 states have contributed to the campaign, to help families rebuild their lives and the tree canopy of their communities after Katrina.
During a March 4, 2006 tree giveaway program, over 6,000 each of four native tree species were given out – Bald Cypress, Red Maple, Red Oak, and Live Oak. The giveaway program benefited from the help of nearly 100 volunteers, ranging from interested individuals to civic groups and government agencies, at 20 sites across the area.
Many receiving plants shared a similar sentiment as that of Chad Thomas of DeLisle, MS.
When asked why he came for the trees, Chad responded, "So I can bring life back."
Through the Katrina Tree Recovery Campaign, people across America have the opportunity to help replant trees in the Gulf Coast region devastated by Katrina, and continue the reforestation of neighborhoods and cities in the area.
Thousands more trees are needed to begin to replace what was lost.
"We are thrilled to be a part of this campaign to help families rebuild their community forests and bring back the many benefits of trees in their yards, neighborhoods and towns," said Arbor Day foundation President John Rosenow. "Through their contributions, supporters throughout America can make it possible for people along the Gulf Coast to plant native trees, restoring the beauty, habitat, and conservation benefits they provide."
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 Arbor Day Foundation will provide each donor of $10 or more a free membership including a subscription to the Foundation's bimonthly publication, Arbor Day. For every $10 contribution to the Katrina Tree Recovery Campaign, the Arbor Day Foundation will donate 10 trees to volunteer tree planters in Louisiana and Mississippi.
"We look forward to making these trees available with the help of our volunteer community base across the coast," said Mark LaSalle, coastal project director for Audubon Mississippi.
"I was touched by how much the recipients appreciated getting trees." said Jean McCool of Moss Point, MS
Audubon Mississippi's collaboration with The National Arbor Day Foundation is part of its overall initiative to promote the recovery of habitat for birds and other wildlife in areas stricken by Hurricane Katrina. More information about the project, Operation Backyard Recovery, can be found at http://www.msaudubon.org/.
To contribute to the Katrina Tree Recovery Campaign, people can send contributions to The National Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410, or contribute online at www.arborday.org/Katrina.
The National Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit, environmental 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 arborday.org.
Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Their national network of community-based nature centers and chapters, scientific and educational programs, and advocacy on behalf of areas sustaining important bird populations, engage million of people of all ages and backgrounds in conservation.