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April 23, 2013

Smokey Bear to plant oak at Capitol Park

MADISON -- Capitol Park will grow a little greener at an open-air event on the 130th celebration of Wisconsin's Arbor Day on April 26 when a swamp white oak will be planted as part of a public lawn party made possible by several Wisconsin organizations and a local business.

"Trees are among Wisconsin's most beautiful natural resources," Gov. Scott Walker states in his special Arbor Day proclamation, noting the economic, environmental and recreational benefits of this natural resource. "Trees can reduce the erosion of our precious topsoil by wind and water, cut heating and cooling costs, moderate the temperature, clean the air, produce life-giving oxygen, and provide habitat for wildlife."

Several Wisconsin groups have joined forces to make this year's Arbor Day event at the Capitol Square a really "BIG" event by planting a swamp white oak as an important step in the continuing rehabilitation of the Capitol Park. The swamp white oak is considered a native species to southern Wisconsin and will be planted on the lawn between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and South Hamilton Street.

Sponsors for the Friday event are: Wisconsin Nursery Association, The Bruce Company of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Arborist Association and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - Division of Forestry.

Smokey Bear will kick off the event with "Tree Cheers" at 11:45 a.m. joined by students from Tiffany Creek Elementary school from Boyceville.

Madison-based musician Ken Lonnquist will lead the crowd in songs celebrating the many benefits of trees.

People who can't make it to the square during the noon hour on April 26, can still celebrate this annual day. Learn how by searching the DNR webpage for "Arbor Day."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Laura Wyatt, DNR urban forestry specialist, 608-267-0568; Joanne Haas, public affairs manager, 608-267-0798

Last Revised: Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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