NEWS | Dec. 6, 2011

Joint Base Charleston celebrates Arbor Day

By Keith Thompson Joint Base Charleston Conservation Program manager

With the help of a group of excited fifth graders, personnel from Joint Base Charleston celebrated Arbor Day by planting a live oak tree on the campus of Hunley Park Elementary school located in N. Charleston.

Arbor Day is observed annually on the first Friday of December in South Carolina. The students assisted Joint Base Charleston - Weapons Station Command Master Chief Billy Cady in planting the tree. Also present at the ceremony were Frances Waite of the S.C. Forestry Commission, Karen Houck of Trees S.C. and other members from the 628 CES Asset Management, Natural Resources office.

Prior to planting the tree, Cady discussed the origins of Arbor Day and how it came to be observed in all 50 states. He and Waite also quizzed the students on the importance of trees and the many benefits derived from them. The students were quick to answer that trees provide fuel for heat, building materials for homes and also shade. Additionally, trees help purify the air we breathe and provide valuable habitat for wildlife species.

Following the tree planting ceremony, Waite presented the Tree City USA award to Cady who accepted on behalf of JB Charleston.

The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service and the Association of State Foresters. The award is presented to recognize excellence in urban forestry. In order to be recognized as a Tree city USA, communities must meet four standards: they must have a tree board or committee, must have a tree care ordinance, must have a comprehensive community forestry program and must have an Arbor Day observance. This is the second year the award has been presented to JB Charleston. Prior to that, Charleston Air Force Base and Naval Weapons Station Charleston both received the award individually for 15 years.

For more information regarding Arbor Day or Tree city USA, visit www.ArborDay.org.