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

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Contact(s):Peter Rausch
501.374.8733 (O)
501.529.8733 (M)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Thursday, July 5, 2007

CITY OF LITTLE ROCK OFFERS FUNDING FOR NEIGHBORHOOD TREE PLANTING

(Thursday, July 5, 2007) – The Urban Forestry Division of Little Rock Parks and Recreation announces availability of a continuing program to assist neighborhood and community groups 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 $ 2,500.00 to qualified Neighborhood / Property Owner Associations and non-profit community organizations throughout Little Rock.

Eligible groups may use the awards for 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 on a limited basis. “Nearly 500 trees are ready to harvest for out-planting this season, many of which are small growing ornamentals which can be planted adjacent to power lines” says Peter Rausch, Urban Forester with Parks and Recreation. A variety of larger growing, native trees are available for more open sites without nearby overhead utilities. 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.”

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 1,500 trees planted this season, 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. Rausch plans to hold workshops 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 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.

For more information regarding the E.N.A.C.T. tree planting and care program, contact Peter Rausch, Urban Forester with Little Rock Parks and Recreation.

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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 serves as the cultural advocate for the city, 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.state.ar.us.

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