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Rolling Stones’ Keyboardist and Greenpeace Co-Founder Team With NFL Players and Kids Nationwide to Break World Record


Hosting Tree Planting Events on the 35th Anniversary of Earth Day to Shatter Guinness Record of 4,100 Trees Planted in 60 Minutes
CHICAGO, IL -- 04/21/2005 -- On the 35th anniversary of Earth Day, America is getting a little greener... and quickly, as Rock ’n’ Roll legend Chuck Leavell, Greenpeace co-founder and former director Dr. Patrick Moore, NFL pros and hundreds of school children across the country simultaneously attempt to break the Guinness World Record for most trees planted in an hour.

Schools and parks in Atlanta; Detroit; Seattle; Milwaukee; Charleston, SC; Annapolis, MD; Washington, D.C.; Martinsville, IN; Bradford, PA; and Jackson, MS, along with a handful of other cities across the country, will host tree planting events starting at noon (ET). In less than 60 minutes, volunteers will simultaneously earth more than 4,200 ash, pine, oak and fir saplings nationwide.

“Trees and forests are vital to all of our lives,” said Leavell, who owns a tree farm near Atlanta and has toured with the Stones since 1982. “Not only do forests provide habitat for animals, they also give us wood, which helps to build our homes and schools, and of course our musical instruments. Also, most people have no idea how many products are made using the cellulose from wood -- everything from the film in our cameras to suntan lotion, and even chewing gum.”

Trees are also life-giving air filters, removing deadly carbons from our atmosphere and producing clean oxygen. In fact, the 4,200 trees planted today will produce more than 1 million pounds of oxygen a year -- enough air to annually fill the lungs of more than 8,400 people or almost triple the number of NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball players combined.

“Growing trees also offsets greenhouse gas emissions by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The trees planted today, when fully grown, will annually absorb the amount of carbon dioxide produced by a car driven 10,000 times around the world, or the amount emitted in a single day by every U.S. car, truck and SUV,” Leavell said.

An Anniversary We Can All Celebrate

“There are many reasons for us to celebrate on this Earth Day,” said Dr. Moore, a lifelong environmentalist and author of “Green Spirit: Trees Are the Answer.” “Contrary to popular opinion, North American forests are abundant and growing. In fact, the U.S. has about the same area of forest cover as it did 100 years ago, and the volume of trees has grown 20 percent since the first Earth Day in 1970. Also, we’ve made air and water quality improvements and lowered waste emissions.”

Shattering the Guinness World Record

To break the Guinness World Record, volunteers will plant indigenous trees -- sapling size or larger -- in a single 60-minute time period. Participants will tally the total number of trees, and all documentation will be sent to Guinness for verification. The current record of 4,100 trees was set in 2003 in Europe.

A Rock ’n’ Roller and Environmentalist Find Common Ground in Forests

Leavell is more than just a talented musician. He is a dedicated tree farmer and author of “Forever Green: The History and Hope of the American Forest” as well as his new book, “Between Rock and a Home Place.” On Charlene Plantation, Leavell’s working forest in Georgia, he sustainably manages more than 2,000 acres of land. “Being able to bring the beauty of the forest to communities across North America is something truly special,” said Leavell.

No stranger to the forest himself, Dr. Moore, a former Greenpeace director, co-founded the organization in the 1970s and has been a leader in the environmental field for more than 25 years. A sought after expert on a variety of issues, he now runs Greenspirit, an environmental consulting organization focused on policy and public involvement in the resource and energy sectors.

NFL Players Lend a Hand for the Environment

Joining Leavell and Dr. Moore will be NFL stars T.J. Duckett from the Atlanta Falcons, Marcus Trufant from the Seattle Seahawks and Eddie Drummond from the Detroit Lions. All three players will be assisting the students to plant trees during the record-breaking attempt.

For more information about the attempt to break the world record, or our growing and abundant North American forests, log onto


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