ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - The Aberdeen Proving Ground Garrison marked Arbor Day with a tree planting in the headquarters garden at Bldg. 305 April 2.

The Garrison was recognized with three awards for its commitment to tree planting and environmental improvements in 2013.

According to Directorate of Public Works environmentalist Jessica Baylor, the National Arbor Day Foundation, in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, awarded APG with the Tree City USA Award and the Tree City USA Growth Award for 2013.

"The Tree City USA program is a national program that provides the framework for community forestry management for cities and towns across America," Baylor said.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation website at http://www.arborday.org/programs/treecityusa/about.cfm, communities achieve Tree City USA status by meeting four core standards of sound urban forestry management: maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.

The Tree City USA Growth Award is awarded by the Arbor Day Foundation to recognize higher levels of tree care by participating Tree City USA communities. The Growth Award highlights innovative programs and projects, increased commitment resources for urban forestry, and provides an opportunity to share new ideas and successes across the country.

Baylor said that during a short ceremony held in the Garrison conference room, the State of Maryland also awarded APG with the Green People Loving and Nurturing Trees (PLANT) Community Award, Baylor said.

"The award is Maryland's PLANT Community Award Program's highest honor. It recognizes communities with a well-established urban forestry programs."

She said that APG has met the requirements of the Tree City USA Program and Maryland's PLANT Community Award Program for the past nine years and has received the Tree City USA Growth Award for the past seven years