Hunter joins Tree City USA
Jeff Mangun, Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield Forestry Branch chief, removes the veil on the Tree City USA sign with Lt. Col. Jose Aguilar, Hunter Army Airfield commander, on Wilson Boulevard at Hunter Army Airfield, July 29.

<b>HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, Ga. </b>- Hunter Army Airfield recently became a member of a program called, "Tree City USA" and on July 29, an official sign was unveiled on Wilson Boulevard to show it.

"It's more than an honor to be a member of this program," said Lt. Col. Jose Aguilar, Hunter Army Airfield garrison commander. "It's a commitment."

Fort Stewart held an official 2009 Arbor Day tree-planting celebration on Dec. 10 and read a public proclamation supporting the program at Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield. That event paved the way for Fort Stewart and Hunter to become members of Tree City USA.

Other requirements for membership included, a "tree board or department; a tree-care ordinance and a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita."

"This urban-forest program recognizes deserving communities that maintain the quality of their land," said Jeff Mangun, Fort Stewart-Hunter Forestry Branch chief.

"We are committed to taking care of our land and preserving our environment," said Lt. Col. Aguilar. "We have the largest green space in Savannah and we provide funds in our budget to maintain it."

The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters. It provides urban and community forestry programs in thousands of towns and cities for more than 135 million Americans.

The benefits gained with membership include educational opportunities, a positive public image and citizen pride. He said trees provide wood to build and warm our homes, food for people and animals, and are an integral part of the life of our planet, giving us the very air we breathe.

Trees also clean the atmosphere and reduce the ambient temperature of communities; they enhance and promote pride and joy in communities across the nation.

"Trees are esthetics pleasing and make our streets beautiful," Lt. Col. Aguilar said, pointing to the live oaks planted along Wilson Blvd. "They're a symbol of Savannah, and they provide shade for Soldiers when they run."

"Our urban forest at Hunter is a testimony to how we balance the Army's growth with caring for our land," Mangun said.

Page last updated Thu August 5th, 2010 at 16:44