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Super Bowl Winner Gary Russell Kicks Off New Museum Exhibit with a Champion's Welcome

date 02/05/09

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Jeff Salem, Director of Communications & Public Relations,   email

PITTSBURGH, Pa., (February 6, 2009) – The celebration continues in 'Sixburgh' today as a forest of fun and inspiration plants its roots at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh – 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 February 7th through May 17th, 2009.
Culminating a week full of festivities surrounding a triumphant Super Bowl® XLIII victory, Pittsburgh Steelers® Gary Russell, today kicked-off grand opening events along with 25 local elementary school students at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. This is the fourth location in the country and the first location in the Northeast U.S. to showcase "Exploring Trees Inside and Out". To date, the exhibit has traveled more than 5,000 miles across the country, bringing the sights, smells and sounds of nature to more than 200,000 visitors since the beginning of its journey in February 2008.

"Doubletree Hotels and the Arbor Day Foundation have worked together to encourage kids and adults of all ages to understand the importance of trees in their 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. "Exploring Trees Inside and Out" is just a natural extension of our growing relationship," said Mary Beth Parks, vice president – brand marketing for Doubletree Hotels. "We are honored to bring this exciting exhibit to Pittsburgh during this momentous time. You can feel the energy in this city is at an all-time high and we hope our sponsorship of 'Exploring Trees Inside and Out' will inspire thousands of people to enhance their enjoyment of the great outdoors."

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:

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

"We are thrilled to bring 'Exploring Trees Inside and Out' to southwestern Pennsylvania children and their families," said Children's Museum of Pittsburgh Executive Director Jane Werner. "The mission of Children's Museum of Pittsburgh has always been to provide innovative museum experiences that inspire joy, creativity and curiosity and this exhibit enables us to provide our visitors an innovative and interactive way to connect with nature. We think everyone who experiences this wonderful exhibit will be amazed and will leave with a greater appreciation of the natural world."

"Exploring Trees Inside and Out" is part of Doubletree's latest effort to help raise environmental awareness among children – inspiring and empowering a new generation of children to take simple steps toward conserving and preserving the earth's natural resources. Following Pittsburgh, the exhibit will continue to Atlanta and Boston during 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.

In addition to sponsoring "Exploring Trees Inside and Out," Doubletree continues to grow its role in environmental education and awareness programs through various collaborations with organizations such as the Arbor Day Foundation. Since 2002, Doubletree has helped educate and inspire more than 150,000 elementary school students in communities around the world about the importance of trees and being eco-conscious through its Teaching Kids to CARE® program.

"The Arbor Day Foundation developed the "Exploring Trees Inside and Out" Traveling exhibit with Dimensions Educational Research Foundation in the hopes that people leave with a greater understanding and appreciation of trees. Children's Museum of Pittsburgh 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 and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation appreciate the commitment that Doubletree Hotels and Children's Museum of Pittsburgh 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."

Entry to "Exploring Trees Inside and Out" is included with admission to Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. The museum is centrally located just five minutes from downtown Pittsburgh in the heart of Allegheny Square. Hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and children 2-18 and kids age 2 and under are free.

For more information about the everyday importance of trees and the "Exploring Trees Inside and Out" Traveling exhibit, please visit

About the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh
Children's Museum of Pittsburgh is a nonprofit organization that provides innovative experiences that inspire joy, creativity and curiosity. The Museum provides the highest quality exhibits and programs for learning and play and continues to be a partner and resource for people who work with or on behalf of children. The Children's Museum is a certified green building and has been honored by the National Historic Preservation Trust and the American Institute for Architects. Since opening in 1983, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh has grown and flourished into a world-class institution with almost two million visitors (and growing). Visit for more information.

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

About Doubletree Hotels
With a growing collection of contemporary, upscale accommodations in more than 160 gateway cities, metropolitan areas and vacation destinations throughout the U.S., Canada and Latin America, 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. To make reservations at any Doubletree hotel, travelers can visit our website at, contact their preferred travel professional or call 1-800-222-TREE in the U.S. and Canada.

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