Alanah Debro, daughter of U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Crystal Mathis, 23d Logistic Readiness Squadron, and Preston Grover, son of Senior Airman Joshua Grover, 723d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, pour dirt onto a newly planted tree for Arbor day at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., April 27, 2012. Children from the Georgia Pre-K Program at the child development center on base participated in Moody’s Arbor Day celebration by helping plant a tree at Tree City USA Park on Moody. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stephanie Mancha/Released)
Demend Mekhi Maul, son of Tech. Sgt Nicole Maul, 23d Medical Group, helps plant a tree at the Tree City USA Park at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., April 27, 2012. Every year Moody celebrates Arbor Day by planting a native tree that will flourish. This year’s tree was a yellow poplar. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stephanie Mancha/Released)
U.S. Air Force Col. Billy Thompson, 23d Wing commander, speaks to children about the importance of trees and woodlands after declaring April 27, 2012, as Moody Air Force Base, Ga., Arbor Day. Thompson urged everyone to celebrate Arbor Day and support efforts to protect our trees and woodlands. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stephanie Mancha/Released)
John Crain, 23d Civil Engineer Squadron forester, waters a newly planted yellow poplar tree during Arbor Day at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., April 27, 2012. Crain informed children about the three components necessary for trees to grow: water, soil and sun. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stephanie Mancha/ Released)
by Airman 1st Class Jarrod Grammel
23d Wing Public Affairs
4/30/2012 - MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Children were all smiles as they dumped cups of dirt onto a newly planted tree during an Arbor Day tree planting ceremony April 27 at Moody Air Force Base, Ga.
An estimated 1 million trees were planted in Nebraska as part of the first Arbor Day, which was celebrated on April 10, 1872.
By 1920, every U.S. state had passed public laws regarding the observance of Arbor Day. Today, Arbor Day is celebrated worldwide and encourages individuals to care for and plant trees.
Before planting a tree in Tree City at Moody, U.S. Air Force Col. Billy Thompson, 23d Wing commander, gave a short speech and read a proclamation.
"I, Col. Billy Thompson, 23d Wing commander, hereby proclaim April 27, 2012 as Moody Air Force Base Arbor Day," he said during the Arbor Day proclamation at Tree City on Moody. "I urge everyone to celebrate Arbor Day and support efforts to protect our trees and woodlands."
This proclamation and the celebration of Arbor Day is one of the four requirements, set by the National Arbor Day Foundation, to receive recognition for a Tree City. In 1999, Moody became one of the first bases in Air Combat Command to receive this recognition.
During the Arbor Day ceremony at Tree City, John Crain, 23d Civil Engineer Squadron forester, gave a short speech about Arbor Day and the importance of trees. Children from the Child Development Center wearing Earth Day T-shirts, along with base leaders and civil engineers, attended the ceremony.
"If you don't celebrate and appreciate trees, you take them for granted," said Crain. "By celebrating Arbor Day, we hope people become more aware of the benefits. We hope people will want to plant more trees and take care of the ones we have."
During the Arbor Day ceremony, Crain talked about the uses and benefits of trees in everyday life.
"There are a lot of uses for trees," he said. "In addition to the well known benefits of oxygen, trees are used in many everyday items, like toothpaste and candles. Especially with the urban sprawl, it's important to have trees for much needed shade, which helps regulate and reduce cooling and heating costs."
The urban forest at Moody includes over 8,000 trees. Moody AFB, including Grand Bay Bombing and Gunnery Range, has about 7,600 acres of woodland forests and wetlands.
This forest is managed to provide realistic training areas for the military, and enhance and restore native ecosystems and habitats for rare, threatened and endangered species such as the Gopher Tortoise and Eastern Indigo snake.
"Arbor Day is about showing the future generation how important trees are to the environment," said Greg Haugen, 23d CES environmental specialist. "Trees are a lot more important than most people think. In addition to their use in everyday items, they help beautify neighborhoods and provide valuable habitats for many animals.
"Home owners should think twice before they cut them down," he added. "Also, people shouldn't just cut them down to make room for more houses. I think trees add a lot to the value of houses in a neighborhood."
In addition to celebrating Arbor Day, Team Moody constantly strives to be good stewards of the environment. This Arbor Day, children, base leaders and civil engineers added one more tree to the existing 8,000 on Moody.