1-3-2015 2-14-41 PMOver the past few years, Limestone County has experienced many storms that have ripped trees of all sizes from the ground. It will take many years to remove the scars left by these storms. For the past few years, the Alabama Forestry Commission has given KALB hundreds of seedlings to give away to Limestone County residents, and they will provide them once again this winter. Did You Know? One mature leafy tree will produce as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year. Trees also cleanse the air by absorbing pollutants such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. Trees truly are to earth what our lungs are to us. We could not exist without them. Trees can also absorb dangerous chemicals and pollutants that have entered the soil and store them, or change them into less harmful forms. Trees are critical in filtering farm chemicals, reducing the effects of animal wastes, and protecting the environment from other pollutants. 1-3-2015 2-15-18 PMWho doesn't love to sit under a shady tree to avoid the hot sun? Shade from trees near your home can reduce the need for air conditioning. In the winter, it can break the force of winter winds, lowering heating costs. Studies have shown that parts of cities without shade trees can have temperatures as much as 12 degrees higher than other areas. New shopping centers in Athens are now required to have islands containing trees. This is not just for the eye-pleasing affect, which is important. It also helps to combat the heat of the pavement. Trees are not just a pretty addition to our landscape. They are vital to life. The more land we clear, the harder it is for the remaining trees to do a good job of pollution control. It is important that we replace the trees we have lost to storms and clear cutting, and teach future generations to value our trees. Paper Recycling is Important! Since the creation of paper begins with cutting down trees, we should be very conscious of the need to recycle. When I visit students of all ages, I describe the effort and amount of natural resources it takes to make new products such as aluminum cans, plastic bottles, and paper. I remind them of the amount of time it took the earth to form the oil and the ores needed to create these items, and the time it takes a tree to grow. We then take it out of the ground or cut it down, create a can, bottle or paper, use it once and toss it away to be buried in a landfill forever. The children all agree that is very selfish and wasteful. If something tears, it is recyclable. Paper products of all kinds, including newspaper, office paper, card stock, paper board (such as cereal boxes), wrapping paper and gift bags, and cardboard are recyclable at the Athens-Limestone Recycling Center located on Lucas Ferry Rd., just south of Hwy. 72. Stay Informed Follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our monthly eNewsletter to be sure not to miss information about the seedling giveaway that will take place in February (date to be announced), as well as other upcoming events. Don't hesitate to call us if you have any questions about this or other topics. KALB exists for the betterment of our community. Let's work together. By: Lynne Hart

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