GFC to hand out free seedlings at 'Lorax' opening

CONYERS -- Dr. Seuss sent kids this powerful message in his classic book, "The Lorax": "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

Now that book that warned of the dangers of not protecting the environment has been turned into a 3-D feature film to be released on March 2, which would have been the late author's 108th birthday.

The Georgia Forestry Commission is taking the opportunity to provide movie-goers across the state with an incentive to take the movie's message to heart. GFC rangers will be at theaters throughout Georgia, including Carmike Cinemas in Conyers, on opening day of "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" to hand out free pine seedlings.

Coupons will be issued when customers purchase a ticket to the movie and they can redeem the coupon for pine seedlings upon their departure, said Mike Sapp, chief ranger with the GFC's DeKalb-Henry-Newton-Rockdale Unit.

"We've just seen this as an opportunity to educate people about the importance of being a good steward of the forest," he said.

GFC expects to hand out 60,000 seedlings to theater-goers at Georgia Theatre Company, Carmike Cinemas and other theaters throughout the state. The seedlings were grown at GFC's Flint River Nursery in Byromville.

"This is a great opportunity for Georgians to take pride in how healthy our state's forests are," said Robert Farris, director of the Georgia Forestry Commission. "While the Lorax has trouble on his hands, we in Georgia have abundant, working forest lands cleaning our air and water, providing jobs, wildlife habitat and products, and being sustainably managed for generations to come."

A list of participating theaters can be found at www.gatrees.org/GFCSeedlingGiveaway.cfm. GFC's partners in conservation and education, the Georgia Forestry Association and the Georgia Forestry Foundation, made the purchase of seedlings for this special promotion possible.

In addition, beginning March 3, geocaching enthusiasts will be able to search for bags of tree seeds hidden in Georgia's state parks.

The Georgia Forestry Commission is collaborating with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to stock 43 state park geocaching locations with approximately 15 packs each of loblolly pine tree seeds. Geocaching is the popular recreational activity of hunting for and finding a hidden object by means of GPS coordinates posted on a website. A logbook is in each cache for finders to record a comment. In addition, Georgia DNR has an account for participants to sign-in and leave comments at http://www.geocaching.com/ .

For more information about these activities and services of the Georgia Forestry Commission, visit GaTrees.org.