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City of Little Rock Public Relations
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Contact(s):Peter Rausch, Urban Forester
501.374.TREE (8733) Office
501.529.TREE (8733) Cellular

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Friday, August 5, 2005

LR’S URBAN FORESTRY TRIMS TREES IN SCHOOL ZONES

Little Rock, AR ( 5 August 2005 ) Most Little Rock schools will be opening in the next few weeks. The Little Rock Urban Forestry division of Parks and Recreation is conducting its annual tree trimming program to help make school zones safer for the thousands of students returning from summer break.

“The trimming targets a four block radius around public schools throughout the city focusing on stop signs, school zone signage, crosswalks and sidewalks,” says Peter Rausch, Little Rock Urban Forester. Low hanging branches from trees on public and private property can block signs from driver’s view and make negotiating sidewalks difficult.

If the tree limbs are not properly trimmed by property owners, the Urban Forestry division will have to keep these areas cleared. “We want signage to be visible from at least one block away and sidewalks cleared of tree limbs or other vegetation from each side and at least eight feet above”, Rausch says.

With forty-nine public schools in Little Rock, many private schools and daycares, this is a large area to cover. Rausch asks that if citizens know about a specific school area that needs trimming to contact the Urban Forestry division at 374.8733 or 372.0928. “With only one crew, we may not be able to get all of the areas done before school starts, but with the help of parents and citizens, we can identify the areas that need trimming,” says Rausch.

For property owners who can help clear limbs from their own trees, brochures are available describing proper pruning techniques, hiring an professional arborist and safety. For more information contact Rausch or go to www.littlerock.org and click on Parks and Recreation, then click on Urban Forestry.

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Little Rock Parks and Recreation (LRPR) oversees 53 parks, seven community centers, the Adult Leisure Center, War Memorial Fitness 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 31 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.” Contact us at cityparks@littlerock.org.


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