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Global organization helps tree recovery from flooding

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader

 

Free trees were available for residents on Saturday. Over 13 species of hardwoods, 1000 trees in all given away to help repopulate the trees lost during Hurricane Harvey.

“Texas A&M selected the trees,” International Paper Mill Manager Ed Barr said. “They are all native to this area.”

Barr added, “Arbor Day Foundation approached us about hurricane recovery.”

In an event Barr attended the day before in another town, he said that town received 500 trees.

The Arbor Day Foundation’s Community Tree Recovery, a national program underwritten by FedEx and Foundation members, aims to replace trees in communities affected by natural disasters throughout the United States. 

Community trees are a critical element of urban life. In addition to providing natural beauty, these trees reduce air pollution, lower urban temperatures, help to manage stormwater runoff, improve the health and well-being of residents, reduce crime, and bolster community pride, according to its official website.

Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters, and valued partners. Their vision is to help others understand and use trees as a solution to many of the global issues we face today, including air quality, water quality, climate change, deforestation, poverty and hunger. As one of the world’s largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing and celebrating trees. 

International Paper is a leading global producer of renewable fiber-based packaging, pulp, and paper products with manufacturing operations in North America, Latin America, Europe, North Africa, India and Russia. It produces corrugated packaging products that protect and promote goods, and enable world-wide commerce; pulp for diapers, tissue, and other personal hygiene products that promote health and wellness; and papers that facilitate education and communication. 

“Is this fabulousness or what?” Keep Orange County Beautiful Sandra Cash said on Saturday when she saw the trees. “Orange lost 40-percent of our canopy trees during Hurricane Rita 15 years ago. These trees are the workhorses of canopy trees to reduce carbon dioxide and produce oxygen.”

With Orange located on the third-largest highway system, Cash said this was important for sequestering the carbon dioxide.

“Keep Orange County Beautiful is proud today,” Cash said.