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Airmen, children plant tree for Arbor Day

A photo of the base forester speaking to children

John Crain, 23d Civil Engineer Squadron forester, explains the importance of trees to children attending a tree planting event at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, April 30, 2021. Crain used props and visuals to illustrate the different ways trees impact our lives, and volunteers passed out cups of soil to the children. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hayden Legg)

A photo of the base forester interacting with children

John Crain, 23d Civil Engineer Squadron forester, interacts with children at a tree planting event at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, April 30, 2021. To maintain its status as a Tree City USA community, Moody celebrates Arbor Day every year with a tree planting event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hayden Legg)

A photo of the environmental element chief and base forester removing a tree from a bucket

Greg Lee, left, 23d Civil Engineer Squadron environmental element chief, helps John Crain, 23d CES forester, remove a swamp chestnut oak tree from a bucket at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, April 30, 2021. 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. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hayden Legg)

A photo of a child taking a cup of dirt

Joanna Jones, right, child of U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Savannah Jones, takes a cup of dirt for a tree planting event at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, April 30, 2021. Moody has held Tree City USA status for more than 20 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hayden Legg)

A photo of a child dumping dirt from a cup

A participant of a tree planting event dumps dirt over the root ball of a swamp chestnut oak tree at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, April 30, 2021. More than 3,400 communities across the country have achieved Tree City USA status by meeting the core standards for recognition. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hayden Legg)

A photo of the base wildlife biologist collecting empty cups from children

Louise McCallie, 23d Civil Engineer Squadron natural resources and wildlife biologist, collects empty cups from children after a tree planting event at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, April 30, 2021. Each year the 23d CES invites prekindergarten students from the Child Development Center to learn about the importance of trees and help with the planting ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hayden Legg)

A photo of a child looking at a tree

Riley Wells, child of U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Dayna Wells, observes a swamp chestnut oak tree after a tree planting event at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, April 30, 2021. The 23d CES invited students from the Child Development Center to help plant a swamp chestnut oak tree in a small grove on base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hayden Legg)

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.”