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TEC: Planting Trees Can Improve Quality of Life, Fight Crime

Press release from the Tennessee Environmental Council; March 8, 2012:

Nashville, TN -The Tennessee Environmental Council (The Council), a non-profit organization educating and advocating the conservation and improvement of the Tennessee environment, communities and public health will plant a total of 5,000 trees in Nashville, Gallatin, Murfreesboro, and Springhill in March, 2012.

“Healthy urban forests provide economic benefits such as clean air and clean water, recreational opportunities, and enhanced quality of life for all Tennesseans”, says Dr. John McFadden, executive director of the Council. “Trees not only improve the environment but our communities and quality of life. They have great economic value, increasing property values by as much as 10% in some cases and reducing storm water runoff to help reduce flooding. Communities with more trees have less crime, people have a greater sense of community when trees are present and trees increase ones sense of wellbeing. Trees also provide habitat for wildlife, filter and absorb floodwaters and hold sediment in place preventing the pollution of our drinking water.”

Currently, we are working towards growing our volunteer base to engage 500,000 Tennesseans in planting and/or caring for 1 million trees. Since 2007 we have organized more than 12 volunteer restoration events annually and planted more than 45,000 trees. The Council places great emphasis on utilizing trained volunteers to accomplish our mission of conserving and restoring degraded natural environments. For example, in February TEC planted over 5,000 trees in one day with more than 150 volunteers in five different middle Tennessee communities.

During March we have organized tree planting events along streams in Nashville, Gallatin, and Spring Hill, TN for March 17th and Murfreesboro, TN on March 31st. There will also be planting on the Little Swan Creek on March 17th, 24th, and 31st in Lewis County. At the Gallatin, Springhill, and Murfreesboro sites, the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency is providing trees, and many other materials, in conjunction with our local partners, the Murfreesboro Water and Sewer Dept, Gallatin Engineering Division, and Springhill Stormwater Management. In Nashville, the Tennessee Division of Forestry’s Riparian Buffer Program is providing seedlings for the site, and has worked closely with TEC to make the site possible. Additionally, the Council is co-hosting planting on the Nashville site with SoundForest. Volunteers should bring gloves, work boots, shovels and drinking water/snacks. All events will be rain or shine. If the weather conditions are severe, specifically lightening, heavy rain, or other severe conditions, it is possible we may reschedule. If you have weather related questions on the morning of the event call our pre-recorded hotline at 615-248-6500.

Preregistration is required through the Council website, www.tectn.org. The main Council page will provide a link to registration and additional information about each site.

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