Casey Trees and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy gear up to beautify Metropolitan Branch Trail

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Improvements aimed to encourage greater use of trail for exercise, transportation and recreation.

Casey Trees will plant 25 trees along the newly extended Metropolitan Branch Trail in Edgewood on December 11. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), with funding from The Coca-Cola Foundation, is sponsoring the planting through a special Project Support Grant.

Project Support Grant funds will support two tree planting events.

The upcoming fall planting will add native tree species, including Cherokee sweetgum, Kentucky yellowwood and Eastern Redbud, on the stretch of trail between 8th and Edgewood Streets NE and Rhode Island Avenue NE. Four complementary species — paperbark maple, crapemyrtle, golden rain tree and saucer magnolia — will be planted at 4th and S Streets NE. The spring 2011 planting — date to be determined — will add 10 fruit trees at the trail entrance just north of Rhode Island Avenue NE.

Trees from both plantings will be watered and cared for by Casey Trees’ Water By-Cycle and High School Summer Crew programs the first two summers following the plantings. Casey Trees’ new headquarters at 3030 and 3015 12th Street NE are located near the trail.

Initial structural and non-tree vegetation improvements along the trail were made during the District of Columbia Building Industry Association’s (DCBIA) Community Improvement Day on October 2.

Volunteers from Casey Trees, RTC and Vanguard Realty Group will help to plant the trees.

About Casey Trees:
Casey Trees is a Washington, DC-based not-for-profit organization established in 2001 committed to restoring, enhancing and protecting the tree canopy of the Nation’s Capital. To learn more about Casey Trees, visit http://www.caseytrees.org.

About Rails-to-Trails Conservancy:
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit organization with more than 150,000 members and supporters, is the nation's largest trails organization dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines and connecting corridors. Founded in 1986, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's national office is located in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in California, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. For more information, visit http://www.railstotrails.org.

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Jared Powell
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