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Merrill, WI (October 26, 2017) – The River District Development Foundation of Merrill has been selected as a 2017 Cellcom Green Gift recipient. The organization received an $800 Green Gift from Cellcom to remove invasive species from the River Bend Trail.

Construction has begun on the second phase of the River Bend Trail, along the Wisconsin River east of Merrill’s Center Avenue Bridge. A number of invasive species including, Purple Loosestrife, Trumpet Honeysuckle, Garlic Mustard and Buckthorn, have been identified along this new phase. The Green Gift from Cellcom will go towards removal of these plants following DNR guidelines and the planting of native species to repopulate the area.

“Our hope is to set up a work date utilizing volunteers to identify, destroy, remove and burn the invasives as appropriate. The work date will be set for March or April, depending on weather conditions, in order to remove these plants before they begin to seed,” said Brenda Mueller, board member. “Following removal of the invasive species, we will plant native vines, shrubs and trees. This will help to control erosion along the river bank, deter regrowth of invasive species, and bring the area back to its natural and beautiful state.”

The River District Development Foundation was among 33 green organizations that received a share of the $44,000 in Green Gifts from Cellcom this year. The Green Gifts program launched in 2010 and uses funds generated from Cellcom’s cell phone recycling program to fund green nonprofit initiatives. Customers and community members can bring in their old or unwanted phones to be reused and recycled. Cellcom sends the phones to recyclers who in return send money to Cellcom for the materials that were saved from the phones. Cellcom’s Green Gift program completes the green cycle that starts with consumers being environmentally-conscious and donating their devices.

“Our service area is fortunate to be teeming with non-profits that are creatively using their resources to help the environment though education and activism. Donating your phone allows us to contribute to their efforts through our Green Gifts program and ultimately work toward a greener tomorrow,” said Brighid Riordan, director of public affairs and customer experience initiatives at Cellcom.

Visit Cellcom’s website for the full list of winners. Cellcom is proud to support organizations of all sizes, whose work is impacting the community and building a greener tomorrow. The company’s recycling program has generated $310,975 for local charities over the past 14 years.

Cellcom is an innovative wireless company that provides nationwide service for its customer base throughout Wisconsin and Michigan, with more than 50 retail and agent locations. Cellcom is respected for its long-standing reputation of delivering extraordinary customer care, being a strong community partner, and for its renowned network, which is customized to its rural markets. As a subsidiary of Nsight, Cellcom is part of a family of companies offering complete telecommunications services.