BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
An Arbor Day celebration was observed with a tree-planting ceremony and proclamation declaration April 24 at the A-Basin Child Development Center on Buckley.
Col. Dan Dant, 460th Space Wing commander, and Lt. Col. Madison Morris, 460th Civil Engineer Squadron commander, provided remarks during the ceremony and helped several children at the event plant a new blazing maple tree in front of the CDC.
"This is why we are here today," said Dant. "One step at a time, planting one tree makes a difference."
Krystal Phillips, 460th CES fish and wildlife biologist, alongside Dant, accepted a certificate for Buckley being a Tree City U.S.A. recipient eight years in a row. The Tree City program gives the framework for a community's forestry management to improve their town or city's environmental contributions by meeting certain criteria every year.
"Arbor Day is a tree-planting holiday," said Phillips. "Trees have many benefits which help the Air Force by adding environmental, economic and social value to installations. Specifically, trees have the ability to clean the air; provide oxygen; provide windbreaks, visual screens (and) sound barriers; save water; conserve energy; combat the greenhouse effect; cool streets; prevent water pollution and soil erosion; provide food and shelter; increase property values; and bring diverse people together by adding an aesthetical appeal to an area."
It also adds "community unity," she said.
Arbor Day is celebrated in the U.S., and similar tree-planting holidays are observed in 35 countries around the world. The holiday originated April 10, 1872, and was suggested by Julius Sterling Morton, a newspaper editor from Nebraska City, Neb. Morton, known for his love of plants and trees, purposed a tree-planting day at the meeting of the State Board of Agriculture. More than one million trees were planted the first Arbor Day.
Officially proclaimed by Nebraska Gov. Robert W. Furnas on March 12, 1874, it became a legal holiday and Morton's birthday of April 22 was chosen as the official observance of Arbor Day in Nebraska. By the 1920s, each state in the U.S., declared by public law, a specific date to observe and plant trees.
Information about this article was retrieved from www.arborday.org/arborday/history.cfm