Airmen, children plant tree for Arbor Day
By Senior Airman Hayden Legg, 23d Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 03, 2021
MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- To maintain its status as a Tree City USA community, Moody Air Force Base celebrates Arbor Day every year with a tree planting event.
The 23d Civil Engineer Squadron invited students from the Child Development Center to help plant a swamp chestnut oak tree in a small grove on base.
“The Arbor Day Foundation is behind the Tree City USA program,” said John Crain, 23d CES forester. “It’s a way to promote urban forestry and for people to recognize the importance of trees in an urban environment. The way they do that is by getting the community involved with Arbor Day celebrations.”
More than 3,400 communities across the country have achieved Tree City USA status by meeting the core standards for recognition: maintaining a tree board, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry development and celebrating Arbor Day.
Moody has held its Tree City USA status for more than 20 years.
“We have over 8,000 trees in the urban environment, and these trees help with cooling costs — they help protect from wind and other damage,” said Greg Lee, 23d CES environmental element chief. “This gives us an opportunity to talk about the overall environmental mission that we have here and to get the word out, especially to the younger generation, of the importance of being good stewards of the environment.”
The swamp chestnut oak tree will be the newest addition to a variety of trees on a patch of land dubbed Tree City USA Park on Georgia Street, west of the 23d Medical Group campus.
“Usually, I try to pick a native tree, I don’t want anything invasive or exotic,” Crain said. “Swamp chestnut is really pretty and makes a nice, big shade tree.”
Each year the 23d CES invites prekindergarten students from the CDC to learn about the importance of trees and help with the planting ceremony. Crain used props and visuals to illustrate the different ways trees impact our lives, and volunteers passed out cups of soil to the children.
“It’s a hands-on, fun thing for them to do,” Crain said. “It gets them thinking about the environment, growing trees and the benefits of trees.”