CINCINNATI (April 24, 2015)– Guided by the leadership of the Xavier University economics class, “Environmental, Economics & Policy” the Flying Pig Marathon has joined with Taking Root (a major tree planting initiative in the Tri-state) to plant trees along the race route. An initial tree planting celebrating the partnership will take place at Friendship Park, just east of the intersection of Adams Landing and Riverside Dr. on Saturday April 25, 2015 at 1:30PM. Xavier students, officials of the Flying Pig Marathon and Taking Root will all be present. This partnership will see many more trees planted this fall and into the future. “Students have really risen to the challenge,” Professor Nancy Bertaux explains. “They have calculated the marathon’s carbon footprint, organized carbon offsetting (offsetting the carbon emissions associated with the event with activities that absorb CO2 from the atmosphere), and conducted innovative analysis of greener transportation to and from the event. Students also organized first-time use of renewable energy for the marathon, including Dovetail Solar donating use of a solar generator, and Xavier donating use of a solar golf cart.” “By planting trees, we can see not only carbon offset that literally grows over the coming years,” added Scott Beuerlein, Chair of the Taking Root Campaign, “but we also see beautification along the race route, and all the other benefits of trees, including health and community improvements. We look forward to many years of planting many new trees with the Flying Pig organization, and then enjoy watching them grow.” Taking Root seeks to plant 2 million trees in the area by 2020, and includes some 18 partners, including the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, OKI Regional Council of Governments, Green Umbrella, Great Parks of Hamilton County and many more. “The Flying Pig is looking forward to being part of the Taking Root effort,” said Denise Hovey, who leads the sustainability efforts for the Flying Pig events. “The tree planting is just part of our year-round effort, including recycling and reusing, to be environmentally responsible and encourage our participants to do the same.” As a direct result of this XU-Flying Pig-Taking Root collaboration: —There will be a kick-off tree planting event on Saturday, April 25th at 1:30pm —The XU-Flying Pig Marathon-Taking Root partnership will continue and grow, with the following plans: —a larger planting on “Make a Difference” Day (Oct. 25, 2015), paired with the Queen Bee half Marathon, which the Flying Pig office directs. —”26 Trees for 26 Miles”: This program will involve planting at least 26 trees each year, throughout the course of the marathon, through coordination with 17 different neighborhoods. —donations of a large number of saplings for distribution to marathon participants in 2016 are being sought. –Additional private and public partners are encouraged to join this partnership.