PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, MD – Naval Air Station Patuxent River was named a 2016 "Tree City USA" by the Arbor Day Foundation March 24 in honor of the installation’s commitment to effective forest management. The award marks the 28th consecutive year NAS Patuxent River has earned the title of a Tree City USA.
NAS Patuxent River is one of more than 3,400 Tree City USAs, with a combined population of 140 million. The Tree City USA Program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters. The installation received the recognition by meeting the Tree City programs four requirements of having a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance.
"Tree City USA communities see the impact an urban forest has in a community first hand," said Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation president. "Additionally, recognition brings residents together and creates a sense of community pride, whether it’s through volunteer engagement or public education."
NAS Patuxent River marked the occasion with a tree planting April 5, held by Capt. Scott Starkey, NAS Patuxent River commanding officer, and Kyle Rambo, installation conservation director. Starkey signed a proclamation during the event declaring April 5, 2017 as Arbor Day 2017 at NAS Patuxent River before he, Capt. Jason Hammond, NAS Patuxent River executive officer, and guests S. Andrew Sochanski of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Rick Grills of the Maryland Department of the Environment, planted a hackberry tree at a playground on the installation to mark the occasion.
The hackberry tree is common to the eastern United States and is helpful in erosion control while providing nesting for birds and shelter for rabbits and deer.