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Delaware Native Plant Society

Delaware Native
Plant Society

P.O. Box 369
Dover, DE 19903

Flash photos courtesy of
David G. Smith at
www.delawarewildflowers.org

Restoration Branch kick off event

Date: October 11, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

On Saturday, October 11, 2014 from 6-9 pm the Delmarva Restoration Branch of The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) will hold their inaugural meeting at Abbott's Mill Nature Center, the site of the peninsula's first chestnut education orchard. The American chestnut tree was once prevalent on the Delmarva Peninsula but was wiped out in the beginning of the 20th century by a fungal pathogen that causes chestnut blight. The Branch is laying the groundwork for restoring the American chestnut as a viable component of the Delmarva's forests.

 New partners--including businesses, public groups, and individuals--are invited to join with the Delaware Nature Society, The Delaware Native Plant Society, The American Chestnut Foundation and its Maryland Chapter, in working to bring back this magnificent and valuable tree to Delmarva.

 The ticketed event will feature a casual, full-course dinner combined with a keynote presentation by Sara Fitzsimmons, TACF North Central Regional Science Coordinator. Other festivities include: local craft beer, live music, chestnut-related raffles, and door prizes. Each ticket purchased includes a 1-year membership in both TACF and Delaware Native Plant Society.

 Ticketing options include: single tickets ($60); couple's tickets ($80); youth tickets ($15); sponsor-level single tickets ($320); and sponsor-level couple's tickets ($340). Sponsor-level tickets include QTY=4 Restoration 1.0 chestnut seeds. To purchase tickets, please contact Edward Crawford by phone at 703-901-4380 or by email at delmarvachestnutrb@gmail.com.

 Once the mighty giants of the eastern forest, American chestnuts stood up to 100 feet tall, and numbered in the billions. From Maine to Georgia, the chestnut was a vital part of the eastern forest, provided abundant food for wildlife, and was an essential component of the economy. In the beginning of the 20th century the fungal pathogen responsible for chestnut blight, accidentally imported from Asia, spread rapidly through the eastern forests and by 1950 the fungus had eliminated the chestnut as a mature forest tree.

 In 1983, a dedicated group of scientists and laypersons formed The American Chestnut Foundation and began a special breeding process, which in 2005 produced the first potentially blight-resistant trees called Restoration Chestnuts 1.0. Now assisted by more than 5,000 members and volunteers in 23 states, the organization is undertaking the planting of Restoration Chestnuts 1.0 in select locations throughout the eastern US.

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