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City of Little Rock Public Relations
Office (501) 371-4421

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Tuesday, October 16, 2007

CITY OF LITTLE ROCK ANNOUNCES NEIGHBORHOOD TREE PLANTING AWARDS PROVIDED

Little Rock, AR – October 16, 2007) The Urban Forestry Division of Little Rock Parks and Recreation announces the awarding of funds for the 2007-08 E.N.A.C.T. program. The program, called Enhancing Neighborhood and Community Trees, or E.N.A.C.T., provides awards of up to $ 2,500.00 to qualified Neighborhood / Property Owner Associations and non-profit community organizations throughout Little Rock.

This year’s E.N.A.C.T. award recipients are the Apple Blossom Neighborhood Association, Arkansas Baptist College, Capitol Lakes Estates, Central High Neighborhood, Inc., Hanger Hill Neighborhood Association, Hillcrest Residents Association, the Heights Neighborhood Association, Little Rock Garden Club, MLK Jr. Heritage Center, St. Charles Community Association, Treasure Hill Property Owners Association, Westbury Neighborhood Association, Walnut Valley Homeowners Association and the Williams Magnet School PTA.

These groups will use the awards for tree care and the purchasing of trees to be planted on City street easements, 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.

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; there were a lot of great projects submitted this year.” Rausch says that the program has been well received by the community. “This will be the seventh year for the program and we hope that the community will increase tree plantings and care in their area.”

Rausch continues “2007 marks the sixth year of Tree City USA certification for Little Rock, 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 and fresh oxygen.

Rausch hopes to have more than 1,000 trees planted this season, throughout the City, combining the neighborhoods and the Urban Forestry Division’s own planting plans.
Before the planting season begins, neighborhood workshops are planned to discuss proper tree selection, planting and site selection. “We want to make sure that the trees are planted correctly and won’t interfere with traffic or utilities when they reach maturity” Rausch says. Also, the first two years are critical to the tree’s survival, so the community volunteers must agree to water and care for the trees after they’re planted, establishing the trees for long-term survival and benefits.

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Little Rock Parks and Recreation (LRPR) oversees 53 parks, four community centers, the Adult Leisure Center, the Jim Dailey Fitness and Aquatic Center, four swimming pools, two tennis centers, the River Market, the Riverfest Amphitheatre, three golf courses, and the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History. The agency also administers the urban forestry program and offers a catering service. The LRPR system includes more than 5,000 acres of designated parks and open space. In addition, the organization offers a wide-range of youth and adult recreational and sports leagues, after-school and summer playground programs for children ages 6-15, outdoor recreation, therapeutic recreation and programs for seniors. LRPR, which employs more than 350 dedicated and experienced people, is one of 66 organizations in the United States to be accredited through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies through the National Recreation and Park Association. Through collaborations with citizens, community organizations, and corporate and government entities, LRPR is working to make Little Rock a “City in a Park.”

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