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Doubletree Hotels and 10,000 Kids Commemorate Oldest Environmental Holiday with Back-to-Back "Tree-Butes"


BEVERLY HILLS - More than one third (37 percent) of kids rank trees as their favorite part of the environment – making the need to “think trees” the coolest thing this spring, according to the 2006 Doubletree CAREing About America survey. As environmental concerns continue to mount, Doubletree Hotels (NYSE:HLT) is springing into action with its Teaching Kids to CARE program in partnership with the National Arbor Day Foundation®, to inspire and empower a generation of kids to preserve their beloved trees and to make a lasting and positive environmental impact on their communities.

Now in its fifth year, the Teaching Kids to CARE spring initiative will help educate 10,000 elementary school students in 150 communities in the U.S. and Canada about the important role of trees in our everyday lives and the many benefits they provide.

More than 800 grade school students at Pilgrim Elementary School in Houston created a human forest of thought by displaying a Great Caring Community Forest of hand-made “tree-butes” to celebrate the 135th Anniversary of National Arbor Day. The Doubletree Guest Suites Houston not only will present 800 seeding trees to each student, they also will commemorate the special day by presenting the first two semi-mature trees to plant at their new school campus this Fall.

The entire second grade from Vieja Valley School in Santa Barbara is planting seedling trees with local city officials – digging into an interactive lesson on the importance of trees and the benefits of environmental conservation. These celebrations are just a sample of the 150 community events that are taking place as part of this nationwide environmental education campaign.

“Children are often the forgotten piece of the puzzle in the fight to care for the environment,” said Dave Horton, senior vice president, brand management for Doubletree Hotels. “By empowering and educating them at a young age through our Doubletree Teaching Kids to CARE program, a new generation has learned ways to preserve the planet’s precious resources and make a positive impact for years to come.”

Doubletree Hotels – with help from The National Arbor Day Foundation – is developing and providing lesson plans and resources to participating schools to teach children about the importance of caring for the environment and simple ways they can show they care every day. For the past several weeks, students have worked hand in hand with their teachers and local Doubletree hotel team members to “think trees.” With tree lessons learned, creative imaginations and art supplies in hand, students are decorating their own Caring Community Tree to express why they care about trees.

Ultimately, the kids’ trees are brought together to create a Great Caring Community Forest – making the connection between preservation and activation. As part of this exercise, each participating student will be supplied with a tree seedling indigenous to their area and a forest green “Think Trees” ribbon to wear in a nationwide celebration of National Arbor Day.

Arbor Day began in Nebraska on April 10, 1872, when the State Board of Agriculture accepted a resolution from pioneer J. Sterling Morton “to set aside a day to plant trees, both forest and fruit.” More than one million trees were planted on the first Arbor Day, and Morton became known as the official founder. Shortly after this 1872 observance, other states passed legislation to observe Arbor Day each year with appropriate ceremonies. By 1920 more than 45 states and territorial possessions were celebrating Arbor Day. Today, Arbor Day is celebrated in all 50 states on the last Friday in April.

“The Teaching Kids to CARE program has played a pivotal role in educating children about caring for their community and understanding the importance of a clean and healthy environment,” said Kevin Sander, corporate marketing director for the National Arbor Day Foundation. “We are truly honored that thousands of kids at grade schools across America, adopted by our friends at Doubletree, are coming together to create the ultimate forest green ribbon tree-bute to commemorate this time-honored holiday.”

Founded in 2002, Teaching Kids to CARE is a community-based outreach initiative that has connected local Doubletree hotels with local elementary schools and youth groups to educate children about caring for their community and the environment.


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