WEST DES MOINES, Iowa, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Hy-Vee is helping local communities go green by giving away 200,000 trees ready for planting. The company is donating the trees to schools and organizations in partnership 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. "Our goal is to get children involved in bettering their neighborhoods and communities by having them plant these trees at their homes and schools," said Jon Wendel, Hy-Vee vice president 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 trees distributed by Hy-Vee will impact communities for years. Trees help clean the air and water, protect the soil and provide habitat for countless species of wildlife," said John Rosenow, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "The commitment by Hy-Vee to distribute trees to communities they serve, especially those affected by recent storms and floods, will be felt for generations to come." The Arbor Day Foundation Tree Giveaway program aligns with Hy-Vee's sustainability mission to promote the well-being of customers, employees, communities and the global environment. Hy-Vee 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. For a more complete list of the company's sustainability efforts, go to http://www.hy-vee.com and click on the sustainability link. To find out if there are schools in your area participating in the program, contact Stephanie Lovelace at 515-559-5709. Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating 224 retail stores in seven Midwestern states. For 2007 the company recorded total sales of $5.6 billion, ranking it among the top 30 supermarket chains and the top 50 private companies in the United States. The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation organization of nearly one million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at arborday.org.
SOURCE Hy-Vee, Inc.