Hundreds Take Part in the A-Maze-ing Two-Story Tree Hug
The Morton Arboretum Hug Highlights Tree Benefits; Could Become Guinness Record
LISLE, IL (October 17, 2009) - Shouting "we love trees!" 341 adults and children turned out for the A-MAZE-ING, Two-Story Tree Hug today at The Morton Arboretum. Staffers documented the event and will apply to have it established as a Guinness record. The hug was part of a nationwide initiative to send a message about trees' incredible value and benefits.
"Too often, trees are taken for granted. This hug gave us all an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the remarkable contributions that trees make to all aspects of our lives, including our very well-being, and to encourage everyone to plant and protect trees," says Edith Makra, Arboretum arborist and Community Trees Advocate. Beautiful, especially during fall color, and functional, trees provide oxygen to breathe, filter pollutants from our air, save energy, provide habitat for wildlife, convey serenity, improve outdoor recreational experiences, and more.
Even as sunny skies turned cloudy and a few raindrops fell, there were no dampened spirits as the crowd entered the MAZE Garden, a one-acre living puzzle of hedges containing a large sycamore tree. The first 100 huggers that lined up received a tree hugger T-shirt, and everyone received an "I'm a Tree Hugger" green and white button.
Tree lovers gathered on two "stories" to hug the sycamore. The "upper story" was the 14-foot-high viewing platform around the tree; the lower story was ground level. As 3:00 p.m. approached, the crowd counted down the final seconds as loudly as they could, and at zero shouted, "we love trees," and gave the sycamore a big hug.
As they departed the MAZE, each received a packet of so-called "Moon sycamore" seeds featuring the Tree Hugger logo and a thank you message for participating in Tree Hugger Day. These seeds were gathered from a tree grown from a seed that went around the moon on the Apollo-14 mission. The sycamore seeds will help visitors commemorate their experience hugging the sycamore in the MAZE.
The national Tree Hugger Day, organized by American Forests and IKEA, is designed to celebrate the one-millionth tree that was planted through American Forest's Global ReLeaf tree planting projects. IKEA's customers and associates contributed to the plantings.
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized 1,700-acre outdoor museum with collections of 4,117 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum's beautiful natural landscapes, gardens, research and education programs, and year-round family activities support its mission - the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. Conveniently located at I-88 and Rte. 53 in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. Central Time until sunset. The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., March through October, and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., November through February. Visit Press Room at www.mortonarb.org, call to learn more.
Media Contacts: Gina Tedesco, (office) 630-725-2103,