Equestrian Team Joins Global Tree Planting Project Planting
at USET Olympic Training Center Joins Others in Olympic
Torch Route Cities And Other Sites to Boost Environmental
NJJune 26, 2003Olympic show jumping riders Margie
Goldstein Engle, Nona Garson, Lisa Jacquin and Anne Kursinski
joined other Olympic athletes from around the world who are championing
the environment as part of the Global Olive Wreath project, created
by the Athens Environmental Foundation (AEF). The four equestrians
joined the project by presenting a tree to the United States Equestrian
Team (USET) for planting at the USET Olympic Training Center at
on Earth Day 2003 (April 19), AEF launched an 18-month tree-planting
project that will eventually encircle the globe along the 2004
Olympic torch route forming a figurative Global Olive Wreath.
People in every region and country of the world are being encouraged
to support the effort by participating in local ceremonies as
champions of this project. Every city that has ever hosted an
Olympic Summer Games, plus the cities of Beijing, Cairo, Cape
Town, Rio De Janeiro, Las Vegas, Lexington (Kentucky), New York,
Lausanne, and Nicosia have held or are planning tree-planting
ceremonies, reflecting a worldwide commitment to environmental
responsibility, peace, and prosperity. AEF also plans to extend
branches of the Global Olive Wreath to some of the
most troubled cities in the world, including Jerusalem, Belfast,
Ramallah, and Baghdad.
New Jersey, home of the USET Olympic Training Center, joined the
project by accepting a tree presented on behalf of Olympic athletes
by Engle, Garson, Jacquin and Kursinski who were in Gladstone
to compete for the Rolex/USET Show Jumping Championship at the
Bayer/USET Festival of Champions presented by State Line Tack.
The tree they donated was provided by Halls Garden Center
of Berkeley Heights, NJ and Tamke Tree Experts of Liberty Corner,
NJ on behalf of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)
who is partnering with AEF on the Global Olive Wreath project.
healthy environment is important to all of us and I am proud that
Olympic athletes are doing our part to help, Engle said.
The planting of this tree at the USET Olympic Training Center
will be a visible symbol of our commitment t a healthier environment.
anywhere in the world interested in adding a branch can do so,
said Jim Skiera, associate executive director of the International
Society of Arboriculture. Trees and planting projects can be registered
online at www.athensenvironmental.org or www.treesaregood.org.
The Global Olive Wreath project includes planting olive trees
wherever possible, especially in the Mediterranean basin. Other
location-appropriate trees are being used in cities around the
world. Members of the ISA are providing their expertise in tree
care to assist with proper tree selection for various planting
ceremonies worldwide. The USET welcomed the chance to further
USET has been directly involved with the Olympic movement for
more than 50 years, said USET President Armand Leone, Jr.
Participating in this important effort in support of a healthy
environment is something we are thrilled to do.
world has long awaited an effort like the Global Olive Wreath
project, emphasizing the importance of sport and the environment,
said marine environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau. This
global environmental tree-planting will forever impact the condition
of our oceans, fresh water, air, soil, and wildlife.
was established to organize, support, and promote global environmental
awareness, education, responsibility and sustainability associated
with the 2004 Olympiad in Athens, Greece and future Olympic games.
April 19, an AEF Olympian Earth Day ceremony in Athens, Greece
formally kicked off the project with the planting of the first
olive trees in the wreath. World Olympians, including
Nikos Kaklamanakis and Michael Voudouris of Greece, along with
Jean-Michel Cousteau, participated in the celebration that was
webcast globally. Equestrian sport jumped in quickly with ceremonies
at the Budweiser Show Jumping World Cup Final in Las Vegas and
at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in Lexington, Kentucky.
The project will continue at more than 1,400 schools, university
campuses, and other locations in more than 110 countries, including
75 locations throughout the U.S., until the 2004 Athens Olympic
are the lungs of the planet and the olive wreath has always been
revered as a symbol of peace, sustenance, and life, and the highest
honor bestowed to an Olympic Champion, said Tony Diamantidis,
executive director of the Athens Environmental Foundation (AEF).
The Global Olive Wreath project allows the world to unite,
on this momentous occasion of the homecoming of the Olympic games,
under the Ancient Greek Olympic ideals of sport, culture, environment,
The United States Equestrian Team is a non-profit organization
that selects, trains, equips and finances equestrians of the highest
possible standard to represent our country in major international
competition, including the Olympic Games and the World Championships.
To accomplish this, the USET seeks out and nurtures the development
of talented athletes - riders, drivers and horses - and provides
the support and guidance they need to help them attain their fullest
potential. For more information on the USET, please call (908)
234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org