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SUNBANK TREEBANK AT MIAMI METROZOO TO HELP SOW SOUTH DADE HURRICANE RECOVERY

 MIAMI, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly 200 volunteers will begin potting 20,000 tree seedlings in assembly line fashion on the site of the new SunBank TreeBank at Metrozoo on Saturday, Dec. 4 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The trees will eventually go to help reforest hurricane- damaged areas of South Dade, said Lynn M. Cambest, SunBank executive vice president and member of the zoo's board of directors.
 Once the oak, palm and mahogany seedlings are placed on the SunBank TreeBank site near Metrozoo's Paws exhibit, volunteers and zoo staff will tend to the potted trees for about a year until they are ready to be planted in the ground. At that time, they will be given to South Dade residents who lost trees during Hurricane Andrew and distributed to other barren locations throughout the area.
 SunBank underwrote the TreeBank's irrigation system. "We are very pleased to contribute to helping South Dade return to its natural state of beauty," Cambest said. "The zoo is a particularly fitting site for the TreeBank because it is well on its way to recovery after losing trees and sustaining so much other damage during Hurricane Andrew."
 The trees are being donated by the Florida Division of Forestry and Ron Schaff's Hidden Garden Nursery through a partnership with The National Tree Trust. The U.S. Forest Service is providing technical assistance on the day of planting. Two-gallon pots and potting soil also are being supplied by the National Tree Trust. The non-profit organization is helping volunteers plant and nurture more than one million trees each year in communities and along roadsides around the country.
 "The seedlings we're growing at the TreeBank are quality, compatible varieties that will enhance the environment of our entire region -- especially the oaks, a species of tree that proved to be very resilient against even Andrew's strongest winds," Cambest said.
 For the year while they grow, the 20,000 young trees will be a new exhibit along the zoo's tram tour. A stand of old trees stripped of their branches in the storm towers behind the site in stark contrast with the fresh saplings that will be flourishing at the TreeBank.
 "While there will be painful reminders of Andrew's fury around us for many years," Cambest said, "Metrozoo's rebuilding and the SunBank TreeBank symbolize South Dade's restoration and rebirth."
 Media who would like to cover the Dec. 4th tree potting should meet volunteers at the zoo's front gate where they will provide transportation to the TreeBank site.
 -0- 12/3/93
 /CONTACT: Melissa Gracey of SunBank/Miami, N.A., 305-579-7198/


CO: SunBank; Metrozoo ST: Florida IN: FIN LEI ENV SU:

AW -- FL001 -- 0104 12/03/93 08:34 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 3, 1993
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