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Press Release

May 2, 2012

Waste Management Boosts Seedlings for Schools Program

People smile for camera in front of Waste Management building

From left, Russ Schleiden, Chairman of the Board, WFEEF; John Frailey, Vice President, WFEEF; Janet Nyce, President, WFEEF; Jim Eckles, Treasurer, WFEEF; and Jim Fish, Waste Management.

Most of the seedlings, which are shipped from the commission's Howard Nursery in Centre County in time for Arbor Day, are part of the Seedlings for Your Class component of the program aimed primarily at third grade students. Each class or grade level receives enough silky dogwood or white pine seedlings for each student to take one home.

Waste Management again has provided support for the Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation’s participation of the Seedlings for Schools program.  The company has contributed $11,000 this year for the program, which will provide seedlings to many elementary and high schools across Pennsylvania through the Pennsylvania Game Commission program.

“In addition,” explained Vern Ross, Executive Director of the Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation, “The seedlings come with an education package for the teacher.  The teacher gets to teach a whole program around the trees, environment and the importance of planting trees in your local community.”

Waste Management has been a major contributor to the seedling program in previous years, along with Joe Krentzman & Son Inc., Mealey’s Furniture, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Partners for Wildlife and Pheasants Forever Chapter 603 have provided support to the program.

“There is no charge to schools participating in this project, as the seedlings are provided by the Game Commission’s Howard Nursery,” said Commission Executive Director Carl Roe.  “The cost of shipping seedlings is covered through the generous donations from the Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation and other partners.”

“The Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation has been an integral part of the program from day one five years ago,” Ross said. “We were very excited to get involved because all of us, when we were in elementary school many years ago, used to get seedlings to take home and plant in our yards.  And, that left an impression on all of us.”

While that previous school-seedling program eventually came to an end, the current program grew from a handful of schools participating the first year to 793 schools last year.  Some of the seedlings also are shipped for the Seedlings to Develop Habitats component of the program, which is aimed at middle and high school students interested in planting them on school or community grounds, or along a stream corridor, to improve habitat; as a tree nursery; or in an environmental area.  Seedlings are shipped in bundles of 25.  Some days two full UPS truckloads of bundles roll out of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Howard Nursery.

The Wildlife For Everyone Endowment Foundation was established to provide permanent private support for wildlife habitat enhancement, wildlife research and education, land preservation, and for the establishment of a Wildlife Education and Research Center in State College. The Foundation is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit Foundation. More information about the Foundation’s projects can be found at www.wildlifeforeveryone.org

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