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30 Oregon schools receive Arbor Week grants
04/14/2008
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Major media distribution
 
Contact: Paul D. Ries 503-945-7391
Rick Zenn 503-488-2103
 
As part of this year’s Arbor Week celebrations, thirty Oregon schools are the recipients of grant money awarded to buy and plant trees in their communities. Some 2000 Oregon schoolchildren in grades kindergarten through high school are participating in a new, community-based tree planting initiative designed to raise awareness about the importance of trees and the natural environment.
 
In cooperation with the US Forest Service, the grants are funded by the Oregon Association of Nurseries, Oregon Community Trees, and the Oregon Department of Forestry to encourage educational opportunities to learn about the importance of expanding the urban tree canopy. The World Forestry Center provided technical support for the project.

Curriculum materials to teach students about the value and proper planting of trees are also part of the project. "We hope this grant program nurtures a connection between kids, their environment, trees and gardening," stated Ann Murphy, marketing director for the Oregon Association of Nurseries.
 
Teachers are encouraged to take their classrooms to a local garden center to learn about trees and select a tree appropriate to the planting site. To qualify for the $50 grant, trees must be planted on school grounds or in a nearby site with public access by April 30, 2008.
 
Right tree, right place
"Going through the Goldilocks process of choosing the tree that is ‘just right’ for the site is not only educational but it is often absolutely critical for the tree's long-term survival," said Rick Zenn, education director at the World Forestry Center. "Buying trees from local nurseries and garden centers is also a great way to connect teachers with experts and other tree enthusiasts in the community who can help with the school project."
 
"Having Oregon teachers and students actively involved in planting trees is good for the environment and makes our communities more livable," stated Paul Ries, Urban and Community Forestry Program Manager for the State of Oregon in Salem. "These grants will add a little more green to school yards and public spaces in our state."
 
Benefits are many
Some benefits of planting trees, and creating a healthy "urban forest canopy"? For starters, trees are a vital component of a healthy community because they provide clean air, clean water, and psychological well being. Tree-filled neighborhoods have lower levels of domestic violence and are safer and more sociable. Trees also reduce energy costs, raise property values and have a positive economic impact on the local community.

"We applaud all the teachers in Oregon who are making the extra effort to work with their students and communities to plant trees," says Mark Snyder, urban forester for the City of Eugene, and president of Oregon Community Trees, a non-profit organization that promotes urban and community forestry in Oregon.
 

Schools receiving grants, by city:
(Note: please contact the schools directly for photos or story opportunities)
Aumsville – Aumsville Intermediate School
Banks – Banks Elementary School
Beaverton – German-American School
Creswell – Cresland Elementary School
Dallas – Polk County 4-H Home School Program
Eugene – Fairfield Elementary School, Irving Elementary School
Gresham – Pleasant Valley School
Jefferson – Jefferson Middle School
Lake Oswego – Lake Oswego Jr. High School
Medford – Hedrick Middle School, Lone Pine School
Milton-Freewater – McLoughlin High School
Mount Vernon – Mount Vernon Middle School
Newberg – C.S. Lewis Academy
Oregon City – Redland Elementary School
Portland – Atkinson Elementary School, Clark-Binnsmead School, Hayhurst School, Puddletown School
Prineville – Crook County Middle School, Ochoco Elementary School
Salem – Roberts High School
Roseburg – Fir Grove Elementary School
Scappoose – Peterson Elementary School
Tigard – Deer Creek Elementary School
Vale – Willowcreek Elementary School
Warrenton – Warrenton Grade School
West Linn – Athey Creek Middle School
Woodburn – Valor Middle School

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