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MacDill grows trees, wins awards for it

by Airman 1st Class Andrea Thacker
Thunderbolt editor

The National Arbor Day Foundation named MacDill a Tree City USA for the seventh year running. MacDill also took home the Tree City USA Growth Award for the second year in a row. To become a Tree City USA, a community must meet four standards: form a tree board or department, adopt a tree care ordinance, have a comprehensive community forestry program and an Arbor Day observance. The growth award recognizes a community that demonstrates environmental improvement and higher levels of tree care in Tree City USA communities.

"We are very grateful to the National Arbor Day Foundation for the continued recognition for MacDill's natural resources and forestry programs," said Jeff Sprinkmann, MacDill's environmental coordinator. "This year's awards are the fruits of lots of hard work from 30 or so volunteers and from innovative partnering and purchasing." John Rosenow, president of The National Arbor Day Foundation, stressed the importance of trees.

"Trees are a vital component of the infrastructure in our towns and cities and provide many environmental and economical benefits and a community and citizens that recognizes these benefits and provide needed care for its trees deserves recognition and thanks," he said.

This year's largest project involved the 6th Civil Engineering Environmental Flight working with the Golf Course to build a nursery, where budding young saplings are nurtured for uses such as landscaping, habitat restoration, and replacing dead trees.

This effort also won MacDill a grant of 600 tree seedlings last year and 300 this year from the National Tree Trust. These plants have been potted, weeded and planted in places such as Lewis Lake and the Golf Course over the last two years.

MacDill's Environmental flight is looking for volunteers to help pot the 300 seedlings the base will receive around April 4. Volunteers also will be needed this Earth Day, April 22, to plant last year's seedlings.

For more information on volunteering or other conservation-type activities, please call Jeff Sprinkmann at 828-0460.





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