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Global ReLeaf joins disaster effort.

Fund pitches in to re-root community pride.

"It was the trees that so many people spoke of... The people of Homestead sometimes stopped, mid-conversation, and remarked on a pine tree that had grown with them, an acacia that was a benchmark for their lives, a towering mangrove that was a testament to their own struggles, achievements, and now loss."--New York Times, August 31, 1992

Rebuilding homes and restoring basic services are top priorities after a disaster occurs, but rebuilding community pride is close behind. Global ReLeaf is coordinating with state and federal agencies to help affected communities put down new roots, based on experience gained helping victims of Hurricanes Hugo and Bob.

Global ReLeaf's tree-replanting and information dissemination campaign has been working to help communities hit by disasters such as Hurricanes Andrew and Inike. In those situations Global ReLeaf has coordinated with the EPA, the U.S. Forest Service, and state forestry agencies in Florida, Louisiana, and Hawaii.

Hurricane Andrew cut a swath from Miami to Fort Lauderdale, destroying much of the urban forest, including an estimated 60 to 90 percent of the trees in one 20-mile-wide area. "The tree nurseries and agricultural areas were also hit pretty hard by the hurricane," said Jack Parker of Florida International University and president of Trees for Dade, a Global ReLeaf partner. Western Louisiana also was decimated.

Replanting trees will help the damaged communities cool the harsh rays of the blazing sun and restore hope to citizens. "Two months after Hurricane Hugo, we started to plant trees in our community with the help of Global ReLeaf," said Lydia Evans, executive director of Lowcountry ReLeaf, which formed in South Carolina in response to Hugo. "The trees gave us a sign of hope that we can get our lives back on track."

Individuals, businesses, and organizations throughout the nation are encouraged to support this effort through the Global ReLeaf Fund by sending a tax-deductible donation to AMERICAN FORESTS. Global ReLeaf will help underwrite the costs of quality tree-planting and care projects in areas devastated by natural disasters.

Donations to the Global ReLeaf Tree Restoration Fund can be sent to AMERICAN FORESTS, P.O. Box 2000, Washington, DC 20013. Call 800/368-5748 for credit-card donations. For more information, contact Karen Fedor at 202/667-3300.
COPYRIGHT 1992 American Forests
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Fedor, Karen
Publication:American Forests
Date:Nov 1, 1992
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