NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2005

CONTACT:   Estella Espinosa
                 Houston Parks & Recreation Dept.
                 713.845.1135
                 Marilynn Grossman
                 Texas Forest Service
                 979.458.6606


America’s National Tree to be
Planted at MacGregor Park During
116th Official State Arbor Day Celebration


Mayor Bill White, the Texas Forest Service and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department are pleased to announce America’s National Tree, “The Oak,” will be the star attraction at the 116th Official State of Texas Arbor Day Celebration scheduled to take place at MacGregor Park on April 29, 2005, at 11a.m.

“The long-lived live oak has served as a backdrop throughout our country’s and state’s history,” said James Hull, State Forester. “Of all the oak species found in the U.S., Texas has a striking 75 percent. The live oak branch, which represents strength on the state seal, serves as a symbol of the commitment the State of Texas and the City of Houston share in sustaining green space for present and future generations.”

Joe Turner, Director of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department welcomes the State’s Arbor Day Celebration to Houston and MacGregor Park, “We’re honored to serve as the host site for Texas Forest Service’s 116th Annual Arbor Day Celebration.” He continued, “We’re also thankful for the opportunity we’ve been given to honor Glenda Barrett, Executive Director of The Park People. Glenda has been an ardent supporter of our parks system, a hard worker and a champion of trees for many years. We’re looking forward to being able to give her a public and heartfelt thank you for all the work she’s done for our community.”

Other scheduled events include the announcement of the State Arbor Day poster contest winner and the recognition of Houston’s status as a Tree City U.S.A. for the 20th consecutive year.

“Houston is a lot greener than most people think,” said Victor Cordova, Urban Forester for the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department. “Since January 2005 the parks department, with assistance from our many green partners, volunteers, civic associations and civic minded business groups, has planted over 18,500 trees; 1,100 have been planted in MacGregor Park. These trees provide a variety of benefits for all of us by making our air cleaner, conserving energy and beautifying Houston.”

MacGregor Park (5225 Calhoun, Houston Texas 77001) is located off of Calhoun between Braes Bayou and Old Spanish Trail. From downtown Houston, take I-45 to the Spur 5 exit and turn right onto Spur 5. Take Spur 5 to the Calhoun exit and turn right onto Calhoun; MacGregor Park is on your left.

For more information about Arbor Day, visit the Texas Forest Service Web site at http://texasforestservice.tamu.edu/

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