Grissom celebrates Arbor Day, named Tree City -- again!

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Alexa Culbert
  • 434th ARW Public Affairs
Grissom team members planted a Kwanzan Cherry Tree near the Civil Engineering pond, in honor of environmental conservation, during the annual Grissom Arbor Day ceremony, April 23, 2021.

The Kwanzan Cherry Tree was named after a mountain in Japan and features pink flowers that bloom from April to May.

Trisha McClain, 434th Civil Engineering Squadron biological scientist said cherry trees have been a popular choice for Grissom with the hopes that it will create an environment reminiscent to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C., and to aid in the beautification of the park and make it an enjoyable area for base patrons.

The planting is significant because Grissom was also awarded the title, Tree City USA, for the 20th consecutive year.

To be considered a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation, four requirements must be met: establish a tree board or department, pass a tree-care ordinance, spend at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and observe Arbor Day annually.

McClain explained that there is both environmental and economic payoffs to safeguarding the environment.

“In general, you’re benefiting the wildlife, the air quality and helping to maintain and preserve the aquatic life and habitats,” she said. “And then for the public’s environment, you’re offering natural shading and saving on cooling, and then also providing a more beautiful landscape across the base.”

In addition to the tree planted for Arbor Day, over 150 trees were planted around the installation this spring.

Grissom has also implemented the use of geothermal energy and installed porous cement around the fitness center. Porous cement allows water to pass through to the vegetation below and prevents runoff and erosion.

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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