Nebraska City, Neb. (Jan. 13, 2009) – The Florida Department of Agriculture's Division of Forestry and Friends of Florida State Forests will plant 165,000 trees in the Blackwater River State Forest with funds provided by the Arbor Day Foundation.
The 165,000 trees will help restore 906 acres of the Blackwater River State Forest that were damaged by severe drought conditions and wildfires. Longleaf pines will be planted in the forest starting this month. The Arbor Day Foundation is the largest nonprofit tree-planting organization in the United States, with nearly one million members. The Foundation plants and distributes more than 10 million trees each year.
"Thanks to the generosity of our members and great partners and friends, we are able to work with the Florida Division of Forestry and Friends of Florida State Forests on this extensive tree-planting project in Blackwater River State Forest," said Dan Lambe, vice president of programs for the Arbor Day Foundation. "These trees will provide vital habitat for wildlife, and clean the air and water for Floridians."
Blackwater River State Forest is located in the Florida panhandle, and is the largest state forest in the state. The forest is known for its longleaf pines and wiregrass ecosystem. Areas with longleaf pines are rich in plant and animal life.
"By providing the tree seedling funding, the Arbor Day Foundation strengthens the relationship between all natural resource managers and the millions of concerned citizens whom are committed to restoration of natural functioning ecosystems," said Jim Karels, Director of the Florida Division of Forestry.
Last year, the Arbor Day Foundation announced it would partner with the Florida Department of Agriculture's Division of Forestry and Friends of Florida State Forests to assist with various reforestation efforts in the state. The Foundation funded 971,000 trees for the John Bethea State Forest in 2008.
Since 1989, the Arbor Day Foundation has worked with the U.S. Forest Service to plant trees in America's national forests. Since then, the Foundation has helped to plant more than 12 million trees in national forests that have been devastated by wildfire, insects and disease.
About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation 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.