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Loyola student agency works with local nonprofit to restore New Orleans' lost trees

February 6, 2009

Students in Loyola University New Orleans’ School of Mass Communication are developing a campaign for Hike for KaTREEna, a New Orleans nonprofit organization dedicated to replanting trees that were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

As part of their public relations Cases and Campaigns class, six seniors created Branch Out PR, to promote Hike for KaTREEna’s work and raise awareness about the need to replace these lost trees. The Branch Out PR team consists of Claire Simmons and Neely Hannah of Atlanta, Ga.; Jessica Scott of Chicago, Ill.; Brittany Cruickshank of Tulsa, Okla.; Ryan Corn, of New Jersey; and Erin O’Connell from Scottsdale, Ariz.

Loyola alumna Monique Pilie founded Hike for KaTREEna in 2006 because she recognized a way she could help improve New Orleans’ post-Katrina landscape. That same year, she hiked the 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail, raising money on each mile to plant a tree in New Orleans. Now her organization plans to plant 100,000 trees in New Orleans, the number of trees lost in Katrina. Pilié said she is excited to work with these eager students to further her “calling in life.”

“I believe we can really accomplish something by working together, and I am excited to hear all of their ideas,” Pilié said.

For more information on Hike for KaTREEna, or to volunteer or become a sponsor, visit http://www.hikeforkatreena.com or e-mail Jessica Scott at jlscott@loyno.edu.

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