Free Tree Giveaway For Nearly 22,000 Trees - Katrina Tree Recovery Campaign Continues To Provide New Trees For The Gulf Coast

11/16/06
Contact: Erica Barton
212/979-3197
ebarton [at] audubon [dot] org

Moss Point, MS, November 10, 2006 – The National Audubon Society and The National Arbor Day Foundation have announced November 18 for the latest Katrina Tree Recovery Campaign tree giveaway event. The campaign is now approaching 45,000 trees delivered this year to help the people and communities of the Gulf Coast restore the beautiful trees lost to Hurricane Katrina. Nearly 22,000 trees will be given away by volunteers at 19 distribution sites across coastal Mississippi and southeastern Louisiana.

On March 4 of this year, nearly 22,000 trees were given to families rebuilding their lives and their homes after Katrina. The momentum of the successful Katrina Tree Recovery Campaign now brings 22,000 more trees to the area.

"This is an important way to help those who have suffered the loss of vital trees," said Arbor Day President John Rosenow." Through their contributions, our members and other supporters throughout America are making it possible for people along the Gulf Coast to help restore the trees that were lost."

Four species of trees will be available – Bald Cypress, Red Maple, Red Oak, and Black Gum, 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 the millions that migrate across the Gulf of Mexico and depend on trees, forests and other habitats to provide crucial feeding and resting areas.

When asked why he came for the trees this past March, one of the tree recipients, Chad Thomas of DeLisle, MS, echoed the sentiments felt by many people when he responded: "So I can bring life back." Jean McCool of Moss Point, MS, expressed the feeling of most volunteers who helped: "I was touched by how much the recipients appreciated getting trees."

For every $10 donated to the Katrina Tree Recovery Campaign, the Arbor Day Foundation is providing 10 trees to be planted by Katrina victims. Distribution of the trees is being managed by Audubon Mississippi's Coastal Project Office and its director, Dr. Mark LaSalle, who is working with Audubon Chapters and other civic and community groups in the region.

"Excitement among the volunteers on the coast is rising, and we are looking forward to a great event," said Dr. LaSalle.

Bare-root trees (five per family) will be provided free of charge on Saturday, November 18 from 9:00 a.m. until noon at the following locations:

MISSISSIPPI:
Pascagoula – Scranton's Nature Center (I.G. Levy Park)
Moss Point – Riverfront Park (Main Street)
Gautier – Gulf Coast Community College Campus
Ocean Springs – Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce (Depot)
Lucedale – MSU Extension Service (Hwy 198 East)
D'Iberville/St. Martin – St. Martin Community Center (Lemoyne Blvd)
Biloxi – West Biloxi Library (Pass Road)
Gulfport (first site) – Tuggle Community Center (Rippy Road)
Gulfport (second site) – Harrison County Soil & Water Conservation District (Ashley Drive, off Hwy 49 Orange Grove)
Long Beach – City Hall (Jeff Davis Avenue)
Pass Christian – Pass Christian Middle School (Delisle Road)
Bay St. Louis – The Depot (Downtown)
Waveland – City Hall Complex (Coleman Avenue)
Kiln – Annunciation Gym & School (Kiln-Delisle Road)
Picayune – Paul Bounds Nursery (South Main Street)

LOUISIANA:
New Orleans – City Park
Slidell – Sav-A-Center (110 Gause Boulevard)
Metairie – American Legion Hall (Metairie Road)
Mandeville – Sav-A-Center (Hwy 22)

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. The project, dubbed Operation Backyard Recovery, follows many of the themes of the Audubon At Home program, namely that by taking personal conservation action, everyone can improve the environmental health and habitat quality close to home and, collectively, over the larger landscape

More information about 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.

For more information about the tree giveaway schedule, please contact Dr. LaSalle at 228/475-0825 or mlasalle@audubon.org.

Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Our 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 conservation.

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.

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