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Contributed photo / Adrienne Long hugs a tree at Heritage Park in East Brainerd. On Sept. 19, she plans to hug the same tree for at least 10 hours in an attempt to break the record for the world's longest tree hug.

Chattanooga resident Adrienne Long is attempting to break the world record for longest time to hug a tree, as both a fundraiser for the Chattanooga Audubon Society and a way to honor her mother's strength, she said.

Supporters are encouraged to join her on her record-breaking journey at Heritage Park Saturday, Sept. 19, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., when exercise and yoga classes are planned throughout the day near Long's chosen tree.

Long said she was inspired to seek the tree-hugging record after the death of her mother, who became paraplegic following a spinal cord injury.

"I was just in my feelings about not doing enough to support her and honor her, so I wanted to do something just between her and I to resolve that," Long said.

She said she wanted to undertake something that required both physical and mental stamina as a way to honor her mother's strength in facing the challenges of her injury. Breaking the world tree-hugging record — which will require her to hug a tree for roughly nine hours, although she is aiming for 10 — offers that opportunity without requiring speed, athleticism or a large group of people, she explained.

World's Longest Tree Hug event schedule

* 8:30 a.m. Jump Off with Tammy Martin and D4G with Destiny Church

* 9 a.m. MindSweatBody workout with Kelly Summersett

* 10 a.m. Yoga with Thrive Yoga

* Noon: Yard games

* 3 p.m. Guided meditation and yoga with Missy Crutchfield and Toes Yoga

While breaking this record may not require many people to participate, support is always helpful when attempting a challenge. So when Long shared her plans with Sarah Medley, her hair stylist at East Brainerd's Studio 59 Aveda Salon and Spa, Medley decided to turn it into a community event.

"I am also a tree hugger; I always have been, and I just saw her event serving multiple purposes," Medley said.

The all-natural salon's mission aligns with that of the Audubon Society, which includes preserving environmental resources, she said.

The event also brings together like-minded community members to support a common cause and engage in activities such as yoga and guided meditation.

The daylong event is free, but anyone who makes a donation to the Chattanooga Audubon Society will be entered into a drawing for giveaways including a $250 gift certificate to Studio 59 and a family membership to the Chattanooga Audubon Society.

For more information and a link to donate, visit the event Facebook page at facebook.com/longesttreehug.

Contact Emily Crisman at ecrisman@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6508.

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