The Nature Conservancy, Lexmark, Penfield Parks Department, and The PGA of America team up to restore disease-resistant elm trees

By
PGA of America

Series: PGA

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (July 23, 2013) -- The Nature Conservancy will team up with Lexmark International, Inc., and the Penfield Parks Department on Sunday, August 4 at 1:00 p.m. to support The PGA of America with a tree-planting event at Rothfuss Park in Penfield. The new trees will help offset the impact of printing and paper products generated over the course of the seven-day 2013 PGA Championship at the Oak Hill Country Club, August 5-11.

The PGA Championship is the Season's Final Major among the four major championships in golf.

Volunteers from the three sponsoring organizations and the community will plant 18 oak trees and 15 disease-resistant elm trees in Rothfuss Park, which sits on 70 acres of former farmland adjacent to The Nature Conservancy's Thousand Acre Swamp Preserve, one of Monroe County's largest and most biologically diverse wetlands.

Rothfuss Park serves the community's open space and recreation needs while providing access to nature. The new trees add to 1,000 planted at the park's founding in 2007 and are part of The Nature Conservancy's work to bring back one of the most beloved trees in the eastern United States: the American elm.

Believed to have originated in Asia, Dutch elm disease was identified in Europe in 1916 and by the 1950s was quickly wiping out a species widely used as a shade tree in the eastern United States. By planting elms that tolerate even the most virulent strains of the disease with other tree species such as swamp white oak, the spread and susceptibility to the disease is reduced.

In addition to supporting the return of this iconic tree, the restored area will provide shade to runners, bikers and hikers, store carbon, increase native habitat, and improve storm water management by helping the soil absorb water during heavy rains.

"The Nature Conservancy is delighted to work with companies like Lexmark to develop environmental solutions and live more sustainably on the earth," said Jim Howe, The Nature Conservancy's director in Central & Western New York. "Helping the PGA offset their paper use at this major event and bringing back the benefits of shade and aesthetic beauty to the urban landscape is a great example of reaching our shared goals."

Lexmark, an imaging, software and solutions company headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, is the Official Printing Technology Provider for The PGA and a founding member of The Nature Conservancy's Corporate Sustainability Council in Kentucky.

"Lexmark is focused on sustainability and shrinking environmental impacts?whether it is through taking paper out of customers' printer fleets through managed print service programs or helping in local events such as a tree planting," said Marty Canning, Lexmark executive vice president and president of Imaging Solutions and Services. "This program with the PGA of America and The Nature Conservancy is a showcase in how organizations can come together and positively impact the communities in which we all live, work and play."

"The PGA of America is pleased to be involved with such a worthy event that helps to give back to the local communities where we conduct such prestigious events as the PGA Championship," said Ted Bishop, President of The PGA of America. "With the support of Lexmark International, a tremendous PGA partner, and The Nature Conservancy, we are able to contribute to the many positive environmental initiatives taking place throughout the Rochester area."

For directions and information on volunteering, visit nature.org/nyevents.

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at nature.org.