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Hy-Vee said it is donating 200,000 ready-to-plant trees to schools and organizations in tandem with the Arbor Day Foundation. A number of community groups and more than 500 schools throughout Hy-Vee's seven-state region accepted the invitation to participate in the project. The Colorado Blue Spruce and Norway Spruce seedlings -- which were selected because they grow best in the Midwest -- are being delivered to area schools throughout September.
The goal of the tree give-away is to get children involved in "bettering their neighborhoods and communities by plant[ing] trees at their homes and schools," said Jon Wendel, Hy-Vee's v.p. of marketing. "Everyone has a role in protecting the environment. We want to encourage young people especially to take an interest in doing what they can to help sustain the world we share, and to make their lives and those around them easier, healthier and happier."
Participating schools are planning to plant the trees on school grounds or hand them out to students to take home and plant. They will be used as educational tools in lessons about the environment and how to be respectful of nature. The trees also will be used to help rebuild several Midwestern communities that were ravaged by floods and tornadoes this spring.
The Arbor Day Foundation Tree Giveaway program aligns with the employee-owned Hy-Vee's sustainability mission to promote the well-being of customers, employees, communities and the global environment. The 224-store chain is currently engaged in a number of efforts such as reducing packaging on both branded and private label products, constructing new and remodeled stores with increased use of natural light, improving fuel efficiency of the trucking fleet and much more.