Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Straw "Christmas Trees" help clean up the Gulf

Thanks to everyone who sent in great stories about how recycling farm-grown Christmas trees gives back to nature and helps the environment. You can see some examples of these on this NCTA web page http://www.christmastree.org/recycle.cfm

Now, a common Christmas tree related machine is helping Gulf Coast residents clean up and protect natural resources from the oil spill. When you buy your farm-grown Christmas tree, most places will put the tree through a netting machine to make it easier and safer to transport home and set up. They are using one of those machines and donated netting to bail up straw instead of Christmas trees. The tubes of netted straw absorb encroaching oil and protect shoreline. Here's an excerpt of an email we received from Steve Mannhard, a Christmas Tree farmer in southern Alabama, who has donated the use of his netting machine.

First, to the folks at Kirk Company, on behalf of residents of Baldwin County, AL on the Gulf Coast, particularly residents of the Josephine Community, which is across Arnica Bay from Orange Beach, Perdido Bay, and the Gulf, we send a giant THANK YOU for the generous donation of netting you promptly donated to the cause of making these unique booms made of hay and Christmas Tree netting. The project was successful in the construction, and we await yet another oil invasion into Perdido Bay from the Gulf to test it. The volunteers making the boom increased their efficiency from some 8 boom sections per hour to well over 50 per hour by using the Kirk baler that I donated to the cause and the netting. The resulting sausages of boom will be deployed as a barrier of last resort once the oil invades the back bays again. It can be deployed quickly, absorb the oil, and be replaced quickly, so the folks are ready with a homemade product to protect their marshlands, inlets, and fragile beaches.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Help Support Trees for Troops with a few clicks!

Supporting military troops and their families this Christmas is just a few clicks away. Trees for Troops, a program of the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation, makes the holidays a little brighter for military personnel and their families by giving them fresh, full-sized farm-grown Christmas Trees grown by American farm families.

Trees for Troops is competing with charities nationwide through the Chase Community Giving Program. More than $5 million will be distributed to top vote getters, in amounts ranging from $25,000 up to $250,000.

You can brighten the holidays for thousands of military families by casting a vote for the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation through the Chase Community Giving program running on the Facebook platform.
Click here, then
on the “Get Started” button on our profile page. Just follow the directions to cast your vote. Don’t delay. Votes must be in by July 12.

Many military personnel spend the holidays far from family members – both immediate and their extended families. The gift of a tree expresses to the military families that they are not alone and that America appreciates their service and sacrifice.

Trees for Troops Facts:
Since 2005, the program has delivered more than 66,000 Real Christmas Trees to military families at more than 50 bases across the U.S. and overseas.

In 2009, Trees for Troops delivered more than 16,500 trees to all branches of the military.
Approximately 300 trees are shipped overseas for troops in the Middle East; the rest are distributed to military families throughout the United States.

As a recipient of the Chase Community Giving program, Trees for Troops would be able to expand and provide even more Christmas spirit to military families.

If you have questions about the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation’s Trees for Troops program or would like to get involved, please contact
info@christmasspiritfoundation.org or call 636/449-5060.

About the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation
The Christmas SPIRIT Foundation – based in Chesterfield, Mo – is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit foundation that advances the Christmas spirit for children, families and the environment. Trees for Troops is just one of its projects. For more details, go to