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by Jackie Lewandowski / Buffalo Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres Blue & Gold Make Green initiative has worked to improve sustainability and recycling within the organization over the last year. Now, the Sabres are asking the fans to reduce their environmental footprint.

Throughout the summer, will feature a local cause dedicated to making Western New York a “greener” place, and showing fans in the area how to incorporate conservation in their daily lives.

Take a look at this week’s profile on Re-Tree Western New York.

Paul Gaustad and Larry Quinn present a check to Re-Tree WNY to help rebuild the damage from the October Storm
Everyone in Western New York remembers the October Storm of 2006.

What they might not know, however, is the true extent of its damage.

Approximately 30,000 trees were destroyed in the blizzard that quite literally froze the Queen City two years ago - and according to one organization it’s time to fix it.

Re-Tree Western New York formed shortly after the storm hit as a non-profit organization and has made it their mission to replace the trees lost by the year 2012.

More than 11,000 trees have been planted in Western New York already, and that number continues to rise.

Major planting events commence twice a year - in late April and during the month of November. Volunteers are crucial to the process, required to attend training sessions sponsored by the Olmstead Parks Conservancy before the planting to learn about correct techniques and maintenance.

“The dormant period for trees usually occurs between the months of November and April and therefore we seek to plant trees during this period for the best success” Chairman Paul Maurer said.  “While they are not the most pretty and warm months to plant, trees must be planted during this timeframe, and the volunteers are a huge part of that.”

In addition to the volunteers, Re-Tree WNY runs on donations from members of the community and grants from local and state leaders.  Mayor Byron Brown, Congressman Brian Higgins, Senator Antoine Thompson, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the Sabres Foundation have all donated their time and money to the cause.

Local businesses are also showing their support by collaborating with the organization in different ways.  The Buffalo News has partnered with Re-Tree WNY to sponsor the Green Leaf Campaign, a 30-day chance for locals to donate to the organization at half-price.  Running now through November 16th, The Buffalo News will match every $30 donation it receives to plant a tree in our area.

Those who donate to the cause will also receive either their name, or the name of a loved one in the paper on a special recognition page.

“With the holidays coming up, people can donate trees as gifts, memoirs, or to just extend their helping hand to a great cause,” Mauer said.

For those members of the community that wish to help in other ways, Re-Tree WNY also encourages you to think with your stomach.  Courtesy of the Pizza Plant, Re-Tree WNY sells its own menu item and collects a portion of the proceeds from every sale.  The Popeye Pod at the restaurant plays upon the green concept by featuring a 'pod' full of spinach and cheese.

For those interested in volunteering or donating to the cause, sign-ups and details are on the organization’s website at  For more information on how to Go Green, or tips on staying environmentally friendly, check out the Sabres’ Blue and Gold Make Green Initiative.
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