(October 17, 2007 – Burbank, CA) – On October 23, more than 600 students in first through fifth grades at Burbank’s Thomas Jefferson Elementary School will take part in Warner Bros. Studios’ annual tree planting event. Now in its seventh year, the event provides school-age children with a hands-on educational experience, designed to promote energy conservation and to educate those involved on the importance of caring for the environment. Each classroom will have to opportunity to “adopt” its own tree by naming it and directly participating in its planting. In all, students and over 60 Warner Bros. volunteers will plant 27 trees—a record-number for the program. Students will care for their trees for the remainder of the year and then hand them down to future classrooms, demonstrating a commitment to continued environmental stewardship. “By planting trees with the Burbank school children, we hope to teach them that, when it comes to the environment, their everyday actions have a long-term impact,” said Shelley Billik, Vice President, Environmental Initiatives, Warner Bros. Entertainment. “The plastic bags they use to carry their lunches could be around for 100 years, but these trees they plant will be around for 100 years as well. It’s about empowering them, as individuals, to take positive steps that will ultimately affect the greater community and world around them.” In early October, the Warner Bros. Environmental Initiatives team met with Jefferson faculty members to discuss the environmental benefits of planting trees and the preparation that goes into the event. Trees and planting areas are strategically selected to address the shading needs of the school, and oftentimes asphalt is removed to accommodate the trees. This year, several deciduous trees were selected because they will shade classrooms during the hot, summer months and allow sunlight in during the cool, winter months. In addition to shading, the trees will provide other environmental benefits, including absorbing and filtering storm water, providing oxygen and breaking down pollutants, providing new habitats for wildlife and beautifying the school grounds for years to come. “Planting trees with Warner Bros. Studios engages our students in meaningful curriculum and allows them to discover the joy of shared learning within a setting that directly connects them with their community,” said Esther Salinas, Principal, Thomas Jefferson Elementary School. “In this way our students are also developing into responsible citizens as they demonstrate pride in our school and learn to make informed choices that enhance their environment.” This year also marks 15 years of environmental stewardship for Warner Bros. Studios. In addition to its tree planting tradition, the Studio has led the entertainment industry in its environmental initiatives. Recent projects include the construction of the entertainment industry’s first “green” building in 2003 and the installation of the industry’s first studio-based solar power system in 2006.
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