U-Haul And The Conservation Fund Pledge $375,000 Over Three Years To Advance Parks With Purpose In Atlanta Effort Starts with Creation of First Park for Downtown's English Avenue Neighborhood

ATLANTA, June 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- U-Haul and The Conservation Fund announced today a $375,000 commitment to give back to the environment and strengthen the green economy in Atlanta.  Through a three-year investment in the Fund's Parks With Purpose program, U-Haul and its customers will support The Conservation Fund's work to bring community members, businesses and city officials together to improve the environment, the local economy, and the quality of life for Atlantans living in some of the city's most underserved neighborhoods.

"Atlanta is a city committed to parks and greenspace," said Mayor Kasim Reed. "I appreciate U-Haul Company's support of The Conservation Fund and the City's work to create Lindsay Street Park, the first park in the English Avenue neighborhood. This public-private partnership is a great example of how to make a positive and sustainable impact on communities. The most successful parks are those where the community takes ownership and I know that English Avenue will be no exception."

Already, more than one million U-Haul customers have helped The Conservation Fund's Go Zero program by planting nearly 330,000 trees, including 1,600 hickory, maple and oak trees in Detroit's Rouge Park.  Now, U-Haul and its customers will help build Parks With Purpose in Atlanta, too.  U-Haul Company's support will further the creation of Lindsay Street Park, the first park in the English Avenue neighborhood of downtown Atlanta.

"U-Haul is thrilled with the partnership we have developed over the years with The Conservation Fund," exclaimed Stuart Shoen, executive vice president, U-Haul International, Inc.  "They are the best in their industry and our partnership fits perfectly into our Company's philosophy of giving back to the communities we serve.  Together with our customers, we have restored and protected forests that clean the air we breathe and the water we drink in some of America's most important wild places.  Today, we are excited to expand our impact to help support the creation of Parks With Purpose across Atlanta."

Located near the headwaters of Proctor Creek, the English Avenue neighborhood is one of the most challenged in Atlanta; it has high crime, many vacant homes, water pollution and periodic flooding.  English Avenue also has the fewest acres of green space in the city. To help address these challenges, the Fund has guided a community-led coalition to acquire six adjacent lots on behalf of the City of Atlanta, and continues to work with the community, the City, Park Pride, Arthur M. Blank Foundation and Waterfall Foundation to complete Lindsay Street Park.  Their vision includes workforce training, temporary jobs, educational opportunities and a creek that no longer spills sewage into nearby streets.  The team is also working to help raise the funds for the creation and long-term stewardship of the park.

"Thanks to this tremendous commitment from U-Haul and its customers, we know Lindsay Street Park will be more than just a nice park. Its creation and ongoing management will have measurable economic impacts for the community. The result will be cleaner air and water, safer places to play and more job opportunities: a park with true purpose as a center of community life," said The Conservation Fund's Georgia state director, Andrew Schock. "We applaud the U-Haul Company's commitment and hope this will be the first of many on behalf of our city's corporate leaders to support Parks With Purpose in Atlanta."

"By helping the Fund plant 326,758 trees in the Lower Mississippi River Valley and protect 225 acres on California's North Coast, U-Haul and its customers are reducing more than 400,000 metric tons of CO2," stated Dr. Allan Yang, director, U-Haul Corporate Sustainability.  "Together with The Conservation Fund and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, we have restored 1,225 total acres, benefiting wildlife and water.  We have also supported urban restoration projects, including adding 1,600 trees to Detroit's Rouge Park."

Since 2003, The Conservation Fund has acquired and protected more than 200 acres of green space for 22 parks across the Atlanta Metro Region. Since 1985 it has protected 7 million acres across the U.S., including more than 94,000 acres in Georgia.  Lindsay Street Park builds on this success.

U-Haul, the largest do-it-yourself moving company in North America, wanted to give its customers renting equipment at more than 17,000 locations in the U.S. and Canada and on uhaul.com a simple way to make their move a little bit greener. Beginning in 2007, the company partnered with The Conservation Fund's Go Zero® program to offer customers a chance to donate at checkout to give back to the environment and strengthen the green economy. 

Overwhelmingly, customers choose to give back: more than one million U-Haul customers have donated to The Conservation Fund, raising over $3.3 million to restore more than 942 football fields—almost twice the size of New York's Central Park—with native trees. In 2013, U-Haul expanded its support to include The Conservation Fund's urban restoration efforts, starting with Detroit. Lindsay Street Park will be the first investment in Atlanta made by U-Haul and its customers.

About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we combine a passion for conservation with an entrepreneurial spirit to protect your favorite places before they become just a memory. A hallmark of our work is our deep, unwavering understanding that for conservation solutions to last, they need to make economic sense.  A top-ranked charity, we have protected more than 7 million acres nationwide. www.conservationfund.org

About U-Haul
U-Haul was founded by a Navy veteran who grew up during the Great Depression. Tires and gas were still rationed or in short supply during the late 1940s when U-Haul began serving U.S. customers. Today, that background is central to the U-Haul Sustainability Program: "Serving the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."  Our commitment to reduce, reuse and recycle includes fuel-efficient moving vans, neighborhood proximity, moving box reuse, moving pads made from discarded material and packing peanuts that are 100% biodegradable.  Learn more about these facts and others at uhaul.com/sustainability.

Since 1945, U-Haul has been the choice for the do-it-yourself mover. U-Haul customers' patronage has enabled the Company to maintain the largest rental fleet in the do-it-yourself moving industry which includes trucks, trailers and towing devices. U-Haul also offers self-storage throughout North America. The Company provides industry leading moving and storage boxes and an extended line of packing supplies to protect customer possessions. U-Haul is the consumer's number one choice as the largest installer of permanent trailer hitches in the automotive aftermarket. The Company supplies alternative-fuel for vehicles and backyard grills as one of the nation's largest retailers of propane.

CONTACT:
Ann Simonelli, The Conservation Fund, (703) 908-5809, asimonelli@conservationfund.org
Joanne Fried, U-Haul, (602) 263-6981, Joanne_Fried@uhaul.com

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SOURCE U-Haul



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