WORCESTER, MA -- (Marketwire) -- 06/10/11 -- Volunteers from CSX (NYSE: CSX), City Year and the Worcester Tree Initiative will plant 100 trees from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on June 11 at Dodge Park on Randolph Road, a site hit particularly hard by the Asian Longhorned Beetle.
The event marks the third time the 'Trees for Tracks' program, the railway's commitment to plant 21,000 trees, or one for every mile of track in its system, has come to Worcester to help reverse some of the damage created by the invasive insect. Previous plantings include a 101-tree donation in May 2010 and a 300-tree donation in April 2009 to the community.
In March, Worcester city officials, working with the United States Department of Agriculture and the Massachusetts State Department of Conservation and Recreation, announced a third infestation at Dodge Park with 93 new trees identified as hosting the beetles.
Trees at risk include Maples, Elms, Birches, Willows, Poplars and other species that have helped define the Massachusetts landscape.
This June's planting will include Fir, Beech, Dogwood, Gingko, Spruce, Larch, Locust and other species that are resistant to and do not provide a host for the beetle.
'Dodge Park is a jewel, and the recent ravage of its trees by the Asian Longhorned Beetle calls for an immediate restoration plan. I am proud to be part of a team composed of stakeholders like the USDA, the DCR, the City of Worcester, CSX, the Worcester Tree Initiative and other community members to return the luster of this precious park in the northern part of the City for future generations,' says Representative Jim O'Day (D-West Boylston/Worcester).
'We have a long history with the Worcester Tree Initiative,' says Tori Kaplan, CSX director of corporate citizenship. 'We have a very strong connection to this community, and we are fortunate to have the opportunity to contribute to this massive cooperation between the residents, local, state and federal agencies and the community organizations determined to protect the natural beauty of Worcester.'
Massachusetts is one of at least four states where the Asian Longhorned Beetle has been found, and three counties, Worcester, Suffolk and Norfolk, are currently under quarantine.
Bequeathed to the city in 1890 by Thomas H. Dodge, the 13-acre Dodge Park was intentionally designed for 'passive recreation' with arboretums, large greens, ponds and other water features, stone bridges and benches.
CSX Corporation, based in Jacksonville, Fla., is one of the nation's leading transportation companies, connecting customers to ports, distribution centers and markets across the eastern United States. Through grass-roots volunteerism and focused corporate giving, CSX is committed to supporting the communities where it operates.
City Year is a nonprofit AmeriCorps national service organization.
The Worcester Tree Initiative plants, maintains, and protects urban trees in Worcester and surrounding towns affected by the Asian Longhorned Beetle. The organization's goals are to see that 30,000 trees are planted in the towns affected by ALB by 2014, to train residents, particularly youth, in proper maintenance techniques for trees, and to provide jobs and a possible career path for inner city youth.