NASCAR fuels Flight 93 tree-planting initiative

Tribune-Democrat

HAZLETON — Pocono Raceway has chosen the Flight 93 National Memorial as the charitable beneficiary of its NASCAR Green Flag Tree Planting Program.

The raceway will sponsor about 5,000 seedlings to be planted on eight acres at the new National Park Service memorial near Shanksville, the Hazleton Standard Speaker reported recently.

“The National Park Foundation is excited to partner with Pocono Raceway and the NASCAR Green Flag Tree Planting Program,” Neil Mulholland, CEO of the National Park Foundation, was quoted as saying in the newspaper.

“Their generous support will play an important role in nurturing a special relationship between visitors to the Flight 93 National Memorial and the environment.”

NASCAR plants saplings for each green flag dropped during an event sanctioned by the auto racing association.

Eight green flags were dropped during the Pocono 400 on June 10.

“Pocono Raceway is honored to join NASCAR and the National Park Foundation in the seedling planting to forever remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice on September 11,” Pocono Raceway CEO Brandon Igdalsky was quoted as saying by the Standard Speaker.

The tree-planting initiative at the 2,200-acre national memorial aims to heal the scarred landscape, provide a windbreak for visitors and establish the park as a long-term caretaker of the environment.

In all, the National Park Service plans to plant 150,000 trees at the Flight 93 crash site.

NASCAR’S tree-planting program began in 2009 with 11 racetracks and now includes more than 26 tracks across the country. Nearly 3,000 trees have been planted across the nation since 2009.

The program is designed to offset the carbon emissions of the car races.

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