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June 14, 2011

MADISON - The Department of Natural Resources and the Milwaukee Brewers are teaming up to plant trees along the Hank Aaron State Trail as part of the Brewers Green Week promotion and the 100th anniversary of Wisconsin's state tree nurseries.

The Brewers have committed to purchase and plant one native Wisconsin tree for every 20,000 home tickets sold during the 2011 regular season.

"What a fantastic opportunity to work with the Brewers, celebrate our state tree nursery anniversary and enhance one of our most popular state trail corridors," said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. "When this project is completed later this fall, I hope to be able to travel the trail and see first hand the results of this effort."

As part of the partnership, the DNR also will distribute 7,500 spruce seedlings to fans exiting Miller Park following the 1:10 p.m. June 22 game with the Tampa Bay Rays.

"This is a great complement to our organizational efforts to be more proactive on issues related to sustainability," said Milwaukee Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. "Adding these trees to our surrounding environment is one of the key activities we have planned for our Milwaukee Brewers Green Week, which is scheduled to begin on Monday."

Over the past 100 years Wisconsin State Nurseries have produced more than 1.5 billion tree seedlings to help reduce soil erosion, provide habitat for wildlife and remove carbon from the air. "Plant a Legacy," the slogan for the year long nursery centennial celebration, hopes to inspire people to look to the future and plant a tree as this simple act will benefit generations to come.

"Wisconsin state nurseries have played an important role in helping to improve the quality of our forest resources," said Jim Storandt, manager of Griffith State Nursery in Wisconsin Rapids. "Growing and distributing seedlings to Wisconsin landowners is an opportunity to give nature a helping hand."

Trees also add to urban property values according to several studies. In Portland, OR for example, trees were found to add $8,800 in value to a mid- $200s home. In colder climates, trees properly placed around buildings as windbreaks can save up to 25 percent on winter heating costs.

"We enjoy developing close working relationships with partners like the Milwaukee Brewers in the metro area," said Melissa Cook, Hank Aaron State Trail property manager. "The trees the Brewers donated will add more green space and beauty to our trail visitors' experience. It's a gift that will be enjoyed for many years to come."

All trees planted along the state trail will be native to Wisconsin. Fifteen species have been designated including serviceberry, musclewood, bitternut hickory, hackberry, hickory, pagoda dogwood, hawthorn, Kentucky coffee tree, American hophornbeam, sycamore, cherry, white oak, American white cedar, basswood and American elm.

Trees will be planted in two batches. The first planting will take place shortly after the Brewers Green Week celebration. Based on estimated game attendance to that point in the season, the first planting would likely amount to 60-plus trees. A second planting will take place at the conclusion of the regular season when overall ticket sales are tallied.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jim Storandt, manager, Griffith State Nursery (715) 424-3702

Last Revised: Tuesday, June 14, 2011

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