FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Erica Barton
212/979-3197 Moss Point, MS, March 9, 2007
- The National Audubon Society and The National Arbor Day Foundation have announced March 17th for the latest Katrina Tree Recovery Campaign tree giveaway event. The campaign is now approaching 66,000 trees delivered since March 2006 to help the people and communities of the Gulf Coast restore the beautiful trees lost to Hurricane Katrina. The upcoming give away will include 18,000 trees to be provided to the greater New Orleans area of southeastern Louisiana.
On March 4th and November 18th of 2006, a total of 48,000 trees were given to families rebuilding their lives and their homes after Katrina. The momentum of the successful Katrina Tree Recovery Campaign now brings 18,000 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 to the area. 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 Pascagoula River Audubon Center 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.
This spring's distribution is being conducted with the assistance of Sav-A-Center Food Market locations in the greater New Orleans area, some of which also assisted in last fall's event. Store Manager Mark Taylor's summed up his feelings about last year's event this way, "I have been in this business for 30 years and I have never experienced such a wonderful show of human kindness".
Bare-root trees (five per family) will be provided free of charge at four Sav-A-Center locations in the greater New Orleans area. The kickoff for this event will be Saturday, March 17th from 9:00 a.m. until noon. Plants will continue to be available at all locations during regular business hours until all plants are distributed. Participating Sav-A-Center locations include:
Mandeville - 3450 Highway 190
Slidell - 110 Gause Boulevard
Metairie - 2701 Airline Highway
New Orleans - 400 North Carrolton Avenue
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. 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.