HOUSTON, Sept. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Apache Corporation (NYSE, Nasdaq: APA) surpassed the 3 million mark with its popular tree giveaway program, announcing Tuesday it awarded nearly 500,000 more trees to communities in 2012. Since donating its first seedling in 2005, Apache has awarded 3.2 million trees to nonprofit organizations in 16 states through grants from its philanthropic affiliate in an effort to enrich the communities where the company operates. That first year, the Apache Foundation donated 1,521 trees. This year, it awarded 494,011 trees. The Downtown Shreveport Development Authority is among this year's recipients and will receive 100 trees from Apache. "This is wonderful news for downtown Shreveport," said Deputy Director Janie Landry. "We are delighted and very appreciative of this grant." In all, 71 groups in Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Oklahoma will get trees from Apache this year. The trees go to nonprofit organizations including cities, counties, schools, parks, universities, youth associations, wildlife refuges and community groups. The trees allocated for the 2012-2013 planting season are native to the areas where they are donated to ensure a potential for growth and include oak, maple, pecan, cypress, crape myrtle and birch. Recipients must show they can properly care for the trees. "We had a record number of requests this year," said Obie O'Brien, who oversees corporate outreach programs for Apache as vice president of Government Affairs. "We look forward to continuing the program for years to come. Enriching the communities in which we operate is something we greatly value." Planting trees is a valuable natural resource that improves air quality, provides essential habitat and enhances neighborhoods. It is estimated each tree can remove 110 pounds of carbon dioxide per year for 50 years, or about 2.5 tonnes during the life of the tree.