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Office (501) 371-4421

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Contact(s):Peter Rausch, Urban Forester
501-374-8733

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Friday, July 21, 2006

Neighborhood Tree Planting Award Applications Available

The Urban Forestry Division of Little Rock Parks and Recreation today announced the availability of a program to assist the community in the planting of trees this coming fall. The program, called Enhancing Neighborhood and Community Trees, or E.N.A.C.T., provides awards of up to $ 2,500 to qualified Neighborhood or Property Owner Associations and non-profit community organizations throughout Little Rock. Eligible groups may use the awards for tree maintenance or the purchasing of trees to be planted on City street easements or in public parks and other grounds owned or controlled by the City.

Again this year, trees grown at the City’s Urban Tree Farm will be available on a limited basis. “Nearly 500 trees are ready to harvest for out-planting this season, most of which are small growing ornamentals which can be planted adjacent to power lines” says Peter Rausch, Urban Forester with Parks and Recreation. The E.N.A.C.T. Program awards must be matched in cash or with in-kind sources by the organizations. “This match may include volunteer time, supplies and additional landscaping.”

“This will be the sixth year for the program and we hope that the community will increase tree plantings and care in their area.” Rausch continued “2006 marks the fifth year of Tree City USA certification, and the neighborhood and community groups we work with help make it possible.” Not only do trees help beautify the City, they also help reduce storm water runoff, noise and air pollution while providing cooling shade. Rausch hopes to have more than 1,500 trees planted this fall, throughout the City, combining the neighborhoods and the Urban Forestry Division’s own planting plans.

The E.N.A.C.T. Program applications are being mailed this week. Workshops will be held in August to help the associations complete the applications and plan their tree projects. After the awards are announced in September, Rausch plans on having additional workshops to train community volunteers in selecting the proper tree species and proper planting methods. “We want to make sure that the trees won’t interfere with traffic or utilities when they reach maturity” Rausch said. Since the first two years are critical to the tree’s survival, community volunteers must agree to water and care for the trees after they’re planted.

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