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The Garden City School District is one of 40 that will be receiving a shade tree to be planted as part of a new environmental program dubbed "Greening of Nassau."

Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Nassau County, in cooperation with Legislator David Denenberg, Nassau County Department of Public Works Commissioner Raymond Ribeiro, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other partners representing the business community, environmental groups and community organizations, have come together to initiate the program to benefit all of Nassau County.

The multi-year project, which begins with the distribution of 40 shade trees to numerous Nassau school districts, will also launch an environmental education effort to raise students' awareness of the importance of trees in reducing air pollution, saving energy and other important environmental benefits.

The shade trees are ideal for planting as part of Greening of Nassau, Earth Day and/or Arbor Day celebrations happening in April. According to CCE Vice President Bob Sympson, Garden City will receive a two to two-and-a-half caliper, 8 to 10 foot tall B&B Red Maple tree, Acer rubrum "Red Sunset." The tree should arrive April 20, just in time for planting during that week, either on Earth Day April 22 or on Arbor Day, Friday, April 24.

"This tree will grow into a large and beautiful shade tree," Sympson said.

In addition to the planting of a tree, this partnership will provide appropriate instructional materials for developing students' understanding of these issues. A plan will soon be forwarded to all Nassau superintendents requesting their participation. According to Sympson, a committee will meet March 19 "to collate and prepare for mailing the educational package promised to all the districts."

Greening of Nassau is an initial effort of the partnership focused on connecting with public school groups or clubs interested in promoting environmental issues.

Steering committee community members additionally include the League of Women Voters of Southwest Nassau, Plant Health Care, Inc., the Sierra Club, USDA Forest Service, New York ReLeaf-DEC, and Nassau BOCES Outdoor and Environmental Education Program.

For further information, contact Robert Sympson, CCE vice president at rsympson@optonline.net.


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