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Bicyclists raise money and awareness for tree research

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Bicyclists raise money and awareness for tree research
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Bicyclists from across the country are raising awareness for tree research. On Tuesday, hundreds of them made a stop in Syracuse.

The International Stihl Tour des Trees was at SUNY-ESF to celebrate the university's American Chestnut Program.

National Grid was also on campus to dedicate a transgenic American chestnut tree that was developed and planted at SUNY-ESF.

"We now have genotypes that specifically culture and grow that are resistant to the blight. And, so we're celebrating here today for one of those trees we have here on the campus that is showing its growth potential and resistance to blight," said Dr. Neil Murphy, SUNY-ESF President.

Mark Hilliard, a Texas resident added, "I think it's important that people realize that trees are a big input in our worldwide issues. That sounds political. But, I mean it creates oxygen for us to breathe. It creates shade to help keep temperatures down. It creates beauty. Man, trees are great."

National Grid, a sponsor of the Stihl Tour Des Trees, also presented a check for $250,000 to SUNY-ESF for energy efficiency measures implemented throughout the campus.

The cyclists now head to Watertown for their next stop along their 600 mile journey over the next week.

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