The Arbor Day Foundation has named Fort Detrick a "Tree City USA" community for the ninth year running.

The honor reflects the fort's commitment to the environment and to building a sustainable community.

"Fort Detrick recognizes the vital role that trees play in providing a quality habitat for a broad range of mother nature's finest creatures both large and small and the well-being of our citizens," said Lynn Hoch, the Fort Detrick Environmental Management Office's Cultural and Natural Resource Manager. "It is Fort Detrick's goal to sustain our extensive forestation efforts to the maximum extent possible.

Hoch said the fort is already working toward receiving another Tree City USA recognition for 2009.

"We congratulate Fort Detrick on having achieved Tree City USA® status for 2008 - an accomplishment that assures all your citizens of greater opportunities than they may yet realize!" wrote John Rosenow, Arbor Day Foundation chief executive in a Feb. 25, 2009, letter to Fort Detrick commander, Col. Judith Robinson.

"We celebrate your diligence in improving the quality of life for the citizens of Fort Detrick and thank you for creating a healthier, more sustainable world for us all," he wrote.

The Tree City USA program is sponsored in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service.

Fort Detrick has met the four standards to become a Tree City USA community: having a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation news release about the award, communities receiving Tree City USA recognition not only have taken the time to meet these four standards, they recognize that:

Trees promote healthier communities. Leaves filter the air we breathe by removing dust and other particles.
Trees moderate climate, conserve water and provide habitat for wildlife.
Trees in urban areas reduce the heat island effect caused by pavement and buildings.
Properly placed trees can increase property values,

"A community, its elected officials and its citizens that provide needed care for its trees deserves recognition and thanks," said Rosenow. ''Trees are a vital component of the infrastructure in our cities and towns, and they also provide environmental and economical benefits. Cities that are recognized with a Tree City USA designation go to great lengths to plant and care for the community forest."

More information about Tree City USA can be found at

The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit, environmental, education organization of nearly one million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at