NASWF named Tree City USA for 23rd Year

Published on December 16, 2014 with No Comments

The National Arbor Day Foundation will once again recognize Naval Air Station (NAS) Whiting Field as a Tree City USA for its dedication to conservation and urban renewal. This is the 23rd consecutive year the base has received the designation.

NAS Whiting Field planted a Live Oak tree to recognize the completion of the annual certification requirements and to celebrate the accomplishment on Dec. 3 next to the base’s command building.

The Arbor Day Foundation presents a proclamation and banner to the command to recognize the achievement. NAS Whiting Field Commanding Officer Capt. Matthew Coughlin will read the certificate.

The certificate reads in part: “[I] declare that Whiting Field will continue to annually celebrate Tree Awareness Week during the first week of December and recognize the importance of preserving and managing our trees with planned activities for the planting of trees throughout the planting season, demonstrating our responsibility as federal land stewards.”

The ceremony is only the final step in the process. Throughout the year, the NAS Whiting Field Natural Resources team has to: ensure an allocated cost is directed toward forestry projects (this has to exceed $2 per person on the base), maintain an Urban Forestry Ordnance, and have a board with regular meetings. All of the requirements serve to raise the awareness of how important trees are to our society. Not only do they provide a natural beauty, but trees also give shade, help to lower temperatures in urban areas, increase the oxygen level in their areas, and help to cleanse pollutants from groundwater and the air.

The ceremony is coordinated by Ron Cherry, the base’s environmental programs manager, and it serves as one of the highlights of his year.

“Our annual participation in the Tree City USA program provides us the opportunity to educate people about the value of tree resources and the importance of sustainable tree management.

Being part of Tree City USA can help promote relationships with the Florida Forest Service and other conservation groups”.

Base forestry programs in 2014 spent more than $28,000 in maintenance for existing woodlands and replaced any trees that were lost through the year through storm damage, disease or other causes. The amount invested in maintenance was approximately four times the necessary amount to qualify for the program.

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