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April 19, 2011

'Tree Cheer's with Bucky Badger and Smokey Bear

MADISON - Bucky Badger, Smokey Bear, Alice in Dairyland, and other dignitaries will join 66 fourth and fifth grade students from Charles Lindbergh Elementary in Madison at this year's Arbor Day BIG TREE planting at the State Capitol.

The ceremony will take place at the corner of the King Street Walkway and Pinckney Street at the Capitol Park in Madison. Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp will officially open the festivities, accompanied by the students reading aloud the Governor's 2011 Arbor Day and Forest Appreciation Week Proclamation. Christine Lindner, the 63rd Alice in Dairyland, will share the story of her favorite tree. Tree cheers with Bucky Badger and Smokey Bear will rally the crowd before the ceremony.

A 20-foot burr oak tree will be planted. The sapling will join elders of its species growing in Capitol Park, some as old as statehood itself, 163 years. The tree is being donated to the people of Wisconsin by the Wisconsin Nursery Association and The Bruce Company of Wisconsin, Inc. is supplying the planting equipment and planting the tree.

Local area songster Ken Lonnquist and students will sing. This tree is the seventh Arbor Day tree planted on the Capitol. It marks the 139th anniversary of Arbor Day and the 128th year of its continuous celebration by Wisconsin school children. The planting is part of the continuing rehabilitation of Capitol Park and its restoration to landscape architect John Nolan's 1918 design.

"As part of the urban forest canopy, this tree will provide shade, habitat and fresh oxygen, and serve as a reminder that the actions we take today will benefit the generations that follow," said Paul DeLong, chief state forester,

The ceremony is hosted by the DNR Division of Forestry with additional contributions from the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association, the Wisconsin Tree Farm Committee, the Wisconsin Nursery Association and the Wisconsin Arborists Association.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Genny Fannucchi, Forest Resource Education & Awareness Specialist, Division of Forestry (608) 267-3120.

[SPECIAL MEDIA ADVISORY: Share the Earth Day-Arbor Day spirit, listen to and view Wisconsin children singing the Arbor Day tree planting song;

Last Revised: Tuesday, April 19, 2011

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