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date 04/12/99

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Jeff Salem, Director of Communications & Public Relations,   email

Nebraska City, Neb., April 12, 1999--Jack Herschend, Branson, Missouri, will receive a 1999 Lawrence Enersen Award from The National Arbor Day Foundation at a special awards ceremony to be held here on Saturday, May 1. The award recognizes exemplary tree planting and conservation work at the community level.

Herschend is recognized for his life-long commitment to planting trees, having already planted more than 100,000 in the Ozarks region. He also created the Gift of Green, a non-profit organization dedicated to tree planting and conservation, in order to replace trees lost in the growth explosion of the Branson area. Herschend and Gift of Green operate a tree farm that grows sugar maples and white pines, with 1,300 trees being distributed every year since 1993. In addition, Herschend is co-owner of Silver Dollar City, near Branson, and his company owns Dollywood, White Water (in Branson and Atlanta), the Branson Belle Showboat, and several Branson area music shows.

will attend the 27th annual National Arbor Day Foundation Awards banquet to receive the award. The awards ceremony is part of the Arbor Day weekend celebration held in Nebraska City from April 30-May 2.

Others being honored this year include Joe Stonis, Cape Coral, Florida, also a winner of a 1999 Enersen Award for his life-long commitment to tree planting and preservation; Eloise McClendon, Attalla, Alabama, receiving a 1999 Good Steward Award in recognition of her efforts in planting over 800,000 trees and her many other conservation endeavors; and Mayor Richard Daley, Chicago, Illinois, receiving the 1999 J. Sterling Morton Award for his leadership in preserving and enhancing Chicago's urban forest.

The National Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit education organization dedicated to tree planting and environmental stewardship.

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