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Nebraska First Lady at WNCC to Support ReTree Nebraska

September 20, 2013
Nebraska First Lady Sally Ganem will join President Todd Holcomb and other representatives from Western Nebraska Community College on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at the WNCC Scottsbluff campus to plant a tree and mark support for the state's ReTree Nebraska initiative. 
 
Along with the North Platte Natural Resources District, they will plant the initial tree at 8:30 a.m. with additional trees to be planted on the grounds later that day. The trees being planted on WNCC grounds through this initiative are provided through funding from the Nebraska Environmental Trust. 
 

"Western Nebraska Community College takes environmental sustainability seriously and we're committed to the continuous improvement of natural resources, as evidenced by our own strategic efforts to enhance sustainability on our campuses," says Holcomb. "Planting trees is a small but impactful way to ensure the future viability of the resources we tend and we're glad to have this opportunity to work with First Lady Ganem and the ReTree Nebraska initiative."   

 
Advocates for protecting and improving Nebraska's community forests expect to plant an estimated 500 shade trees during ReTree Nebraska's fall planting initiative. Extreme summer heat and lack of rainfall has spurred increased interest in water conservation and renewed energy for planting trees.

 

As cooler seasons approach, ReTree Nebraska ambassadors are encouraging Nebraskans to plant shade trees that will provide measurable benefits to both urban and rural communities in the future.

 

Organized by ReTree Nebraska and tree advocates across the state, ReTree Week, Sept. 22-28, is a celebration of fall tree-planting in Nebraska. The organization's 10-year cooperative initiative promotes the proper planting and care of 1 million trees in communities across Nebraska by 2017.

 

Collectively, Nebraska's community forests contain almost 13.3 million trees that provide $9.7 billion in environmental, social and economic benefits to Nebraskans. However, many older and weaker trees have been lost to disease and pests.

 

"In the last 30 years, we've lost nearly half our state's community forest resources," said Jessica Kelling, ReTree Nebraska Coordinator. "The simple act of planting trees allows us to do something great for future generations."

 

Kelling said that fall is a great time to plant trees in Nebraska because there are fewer demands on the roots, allowing trees to establish their root systems and get a jump-start on spring growth.

  

ReTree Nebraska organizers work closely with a volunteer network of more than 300 ReTree ambassadors in 112 communities across Nebraska, including Scottsbluff. These ambassadors lend local energy to the initiative by organizing and promoting tree-planting and tree-related educational activities within their communities.

 

To learn more about ReTree Nebraska, report a tree planting or find out more about tree selection, planting and care, visit www.retreenebraska.org or email retreenebraska@unl.edu.