‘Tree City USA’ status extended to 37 years

  • Published
  • By Mark Wyatt
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – The installation has been designated a 'Tree City USA' for the 37th consecutive year, reflecting its ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship.

The Arbor Day Foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters, oversees the program which recognizes outstanding tree management and care in communities across the nation.

"Our base continues to prioritize a robust tree management plan that includes consistent tree planting and maintenance, as well as tackling issues like disease, pests, and storm damage," said Michael Watkin, community planner with the 66th Civil Engineering Division, who coordinates Arbor Day activities at the base.

Key criteria for earning the Tree City distinction include maintaining a tree board, enacting a tree care ordinance, running a community forestry program, and holding an annual Arbor Day observance.

At the National Arbor Day observance April 26, Col. Taona Enriquez, installation commander, and students from Hanscom Middle School celebrated with a tree-planting ceremony. 

“Our Civil Engineering Division’s commitment to tree care and sustainable practices is crucial for maintaining our designation as a Tree City USA,” said Enriquez. “Their proactive approach in tree planting and preservation initiatives contribute to our base’s ecological health and our community’s quality of life.”

At the event, Enriquez signed a proclamation urging the base community to protect natural resources such as trees, shrubs, woodlands, and wetlands for future generations.

Seventh graders from Hanscom Middle School also presented projects, including posters and oral presentations.

The Arbor Day Foundation highlights the essential role trees play in enhancing community health and environment.

Hanscom AFB stands out in New England, being recognized as one of the longest-running 'Tree City USA' communities.

For more details on Arbor Day or the Tree City USA program, visit www.arborday.org or contact Watkin at 781-225-2953.