Miamisburg, Ohio, - NewPage Corporation today announced its environmental strategic partnership with Rodale Inc. and the Rodale Institute on two ground-breaking initiatives to put trees and agriculture to work to improve the health of the planet.
The first initiative, Tree as a Crop is designed to educate farmers and small forest landowners about the environmental, social, and economic rewards of properly growing and harvesting trees. It will encourage the natural cycle of planting, harvesting, and replanting trees to be as routine a practice as is the production of other crops-and one that achieves bio-diversity, economic returns, and positive environmental change.
The second initiative involves a fourth partner, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and is titled Eco4 the planet. Eco4 the planet is a demonstration project through which approximately three thousand trees will be planted and organically grown at The Kellogg Conservation Center, a working farm adjacent to the world-renowned Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Additionally, twenty acres of soil will become healthier by being transitioned to organic methods, and local farmers with a vibrant Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program will farm the land, utilizing the proven techniques of the Rodale Institute.
"We are very excited to be partnering with Rodale Inc., a valued NewPage customer, to pioneer an approach to organically plant and harvest trees as a crop," says Mike Marziale, senior vice president, Marketing, Strategy and General Management at NewPage. "As farmers and small forest landowners adopt this practice, the potential of trees to improve biodiversity, capture carbon and provide revenue for communities and farmers will be maximized."
"The Tree as a Crop and Eco4 the planet initiatives will act as a catalyst for change in regional and global agriculture and wood management practices. "Our goal is for the 'Tree as a Crop' program to be echoed in towns and farms across the country, and 'eco4 the planet' is our first step in making this happen," said Anita Patterson, VP, Green Culture Services at Rodale. "Together, the partners are taking our message of organic practices from the Rodale Institute to a community along the Appalachian Trail that is already committed to agriculture, much of it organic. It's a model we hope spreads across the country, and across the world."