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SUNY-ESF Students Plant Trees

SUNY-ESF Students Plant Trees

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SUNY-ESF Students Plant Trees As Part of Urban Forestry Initiative

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Students from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) and trained crew leaders from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County planted100 trees Saturday, Oct. 23, as part of U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-N.Y.) Urban Forestry Initiative.

Dozens of ESF students and faculty members participated in planting the trees, which were donated through the nonprofit American Forests organization.

"We need to do everything we can to help our cities become cleaner and greener and I believe this is a fantastic start. This is the perfect example business, government, research and communities coming together to help our urban environments. I am proud to have been a part of this effort and I was thrilled to launch the Urban Forestry Initiative in Syracuse last May. I commend all of those who are involved in this incredible endeavor - working together to create a better, healthier Syracuse for the future," Senator Clinton said.

The first site is on Syracuse Housing Authority property along Almond Street near Interstate-81, where 36 trees were planted. Another 14 were planted at an adjacent housing authority site at Burt and Oakwood streets. The trees will enhance areas that recently underwent building demolitions and lack tree cover.

The second site is at Kirk Park, where students and volunteers planted 50 tidal basin cherry trees, with the expectation that their spring blossoms will eventually provide a beautiful venue for outdoor events. The second site is located just across from ESF's Onondaga Creek project, and fits directly into the existing plan for the Kirk Park Gateway that would connect to the proposed Onondaga Creekwalk leading to a botanical garden and arboretum. This year's trees will compliment 25 trees previously planted by Cornell Cooperative Extension's youth lead "Urban Greening" project to replace trees lost during the 1998 Labor Day Storm at Kirk Park.

"We are fortunate to be a part of the Urban Forestry Initiative which was launched in the City of Syracuse earlier this year. I would like to thank Senator Clinton for her commitment to the restoration of our urban forest resources. This latest installation of tree plantings will compliment the work currently being done to restore Onondaga Creek and the future Creekwalk in the heart of Syracuse," said Mayor Matthew J. Driscoll.

The tree-planting was a focus of ESF's annual fall Campus Day of Community Service, which draws together students, faculty and staff to contribute time and energy to local community projects. College volunteers will be working at five locations throughout the city.

Clinton launched the Urban Forestry Initiative during an event in Syracuse in May. ESF President Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr., calls urban forestry a smart practice that "improves the urban landscape, provides a refuge from the issues of the day, cools our cities in the summer, reduces pollution levels, increases the diversity of urban ecosystems and improves the quality of life."

The tree-planting was supported by the city of Syracuse Department of Parks and Recreation, the housing authority, and Cornell Cooperative Extension. Additional partners in the effort are American Forests, a citizens' conservation organization; Niagara Mohawk, a National Grid company; Eddie Bauer; International Paper; HSBC; and Starbucks.

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