The Plant-A-Wish organization has selected Knoxville as their Iowa location in their goal to plant one native tree in each of the 50 states. They chose Knoxville because of Peace Tree Brewing Company’s Earth Day tree giveaway. There will be a tree planting event on Thursday, June 3rd at 5:30 pm at the east edge of town at the old Maid-Rite building.  Megan McKay Ziller with the Peace Tree Brewing Company tells KNIA KRLS News that the tree to be planted will be a Red Maple, chosen because of its size, shape, beautiful color, durability and ease of maintenance. The organization will be recording the event as part of a documentary on the importance of native trees. To help draw attention to the importance of our native trees, Peace Tree Brewery is holding a contest asking individuals to identify and submit nominations for the biggest tree in Marion County. If you use Facebook you will learn more at the Big Trees of Marion County, Iowa page here. For more information, e-mail megan@peacetreebrewing.com.

The full press release follows:



For Immediate Release: May 20th, 2010

Media Contact: Sara Tekula, 808-250-4030 sara@plantawish.org

Local Contact: Megan McKay Ziller, 641-230-0468 megan@peacetreebrewing.com

Historic “Plant a Wish” Trees to be planted in Knoxville for Inclusion in Nationwide Tree Planting Documentary Film Project

“Plant a Wish” tour visits Knoxville, Iowa and Peace Tree Brewing Company on Thurs. June 3rd, 2010

Knoxville, May 17th – Peace Tree Brewing Company will host the “Plant a Wish” project, a nationwide tree planting and public awareness project that is being filmed for a feature documentary. On Thursday June 3rd, at 5:30pm, community members are invited to join Plant a Wish project founders Joseph Imhoff and Sara Tekula in the planting of a red maple tree. The tree planting/movie-making team from Hawaii is in town as a part of their mission to plant native trees in all 50 states and make a documentary film about it. This planting event free and open to the public and includes a reception afterward at Peace Tree Brewing Company.

During the planting at a once abandoned lot on east Main Street in Knoxville, community members will be invited to write down their wishes on pieces of scrap paper to be planted under the tree. Wishes may also be shared on camera for inclusion in the historic film. This event will also be featured in an article on the Plant a Wish blog, at www.plantawish.org.

Plant a Wish was launched on Earth Day 2010 with national recognition, and the team has been planting trees and filming segments on the island of Maui. The plan is to visit about 22 states in the month of June, all located in the upper Mid-west and Northeast. Then, the duo will return in subsequent trips in Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 until they have planted trees in all 50 states of the U.S.

Imhoff and Tekula have worked together in Hawaii and Los Angeles since they met in 2005, and have been recognized both locally and nationally for their work in media outreach, video production, and writing. Now a married couple, they say the Plant a Wish concept came to them during one of their usual brainstorms at their Maui home.

“We were making a list of things we wanted to do in the coming year,” says Tekula. “Our wish list consisted of four things: travel, meeting and connecting with lots of people, planting lots of trees, and making a documentary film. Then we realized we could do all of those in one project.”

Tekula says Imhoff was the one who came up with the idea to plant in all 50 states.

“I felt like the project needed a specific mission, some goal that we as filmmakers must attain to make this historic, so I suggested we do all of the U.S. States, along with Washington, D.C.”, says Imhoff. “I believe we’ll be the first people in history to have accomplished this when we’re finished. We’re really excited to include Knoxville in this project and to meet the community over music and great locally-brewed beer.”

Peace Tree Brewing Company, Iowa’s newest microbrewery, caught the attention of Plant A Wish during Earth Day this year as the brewery gave away their namesake sycamore saplings to customers.  In addition to making great  beer, Peace Tree is also committed to bettering its community and providing cultural opportunities for the local residents.  The inspiration provided by Plant A Wish is helping them keep that commitment.  “One of our good customers came up with the Earth Day sapling giveaway and we couldn’t be more pleased to keep the idea going,” says Megan McKay Ziller, one of the owners of Peace Tree.  It has even spurred a contest to identify the biggest trees in Marion County as a way to connect residents to the history of native trees. The City of Knoxville is preparing a place to plant the tree in what they hope to become the City’s next pocket park and rest stop for a bicycle trail.

Since Earth Day, the filmmakers have been using social media and PayPal to raise money for the project from friends, family, and strangers for amounts as low as $20 per person, and have paid for the entire trip from this fund. This tree planting in Knoxville is offered to the community as an opportunity to learn more about the important role native trees and plants play in our daily lives, to enjoy a brief history of native Iowa trees by anthropologist Dr. Robert Leonard, celebrate with music by Thankful Dirt, and to lend their support to partnering organizations. The idea is that the Plant a Wish tree becomes an important one in the community, and grows to improve the health of the surrounding environment for generations to come.

Donations to the film project are welcome at the organization’s website, at http://plantawish.org/get-involved/donate. To volunteer at the event, or for more information, please call Plant a Wish at 808-250-4030 or simply come by to attend the event on Thursday, June 3rd, 2010, at 1616 E Main Street, 5:30pm for tree planting followed by a reception at Peace Tree Brewing Company, 107 E Main St, Knoxville, Iowa.

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Peace Tree Brewing Company, a packaging brewery and taproom founded in 2009 in Knoxville Iowa, creates handcrafted, full flavored beers with a great attention to quality.   Their hope is that the beer made under the Peace Tree label will be a shared with friends and strangers alike and be a catalyst for conversations, new friendships and important agreements – in line with the lore of infamous Peace Tree of Red Rock. For more information on Peace Tree Brewing Company, visit their website at www.peacetreebrewing.com.

Plant a Wish is a public awareness campaign and documentary film project aiming to restore native habitats around America, while engaging communities and inspiring individuals to take an active role in the health of their environment. Starting on Earth Day 2010, the two Maui filmmakers (and project founders) launched a nationwide tour of America’s forests, meeting incredible caretakers along the way, becoming the first to plant native trees in each of the 50 states, learning the stories behind the trees, blogging about their daily experiences, and collecting footage for a feature-length documentary film. They do all of this to fulfill their biggest wish: for future generations to enjoy healthy communities with an abundance of biodiversity, native plants and trees, fresh air, and clean water. Check out http://www.plantawish.org to learn more, to contribute or get involved.

Original post 5/20/2010 12:58pm

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