ANSBACH, Germany (September 25, 2019) -- The U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach Adopt-A-Tree program kicked off today with a ribbon cutting ceremony, and the first adoption of a tree by the 9th U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Battalion (9th JROTC BN) at Ansbach Middle High School.Bryan Kott, 9th JROTC BN 1st Lt. cadet and senior at Ansbach Middle High School, said he was proud they were the first to adopt a tree and could lead by example."Here in JROTC, we have been working with community for years now, always volunteering for things available to us," Kott said. "This shows that we in JROTC are willing to lead by example. This allows cadets the opportunity to lead."The program was started to encourage community members to take part in a "tree partnership," that helps take care of young trees on post.Trees in USAG Ansbach are in desperate need of irrigation due to the unusually long drought in 2018 and continued dry season in 2019, said Max Weggenmann, an environmental consultant to the USAG Ansbach Environmental Management Division (EMD)."This campaign is for community members to take part in environmental protection by selecting a tree within the installation boundaries to take care of," he said. "This can be done by irrigating it, maintaining weeds, cleaning up the soil area around the tree and reporting any damages to the USAG Ansbach Directorate of Public Works."The Adopt-A-Tree campaign is a garrison wide initiative between the Directorate of Public Works (DPW) and the Cross Functional Team to help DPW keep USAG Ansbach's trees from suffering from water shortage and dying in the dry season.According to the earthobservatory.nasa.gov, "trees cool and moisten our air and fill it with oxygen. They calm the winds and shade the land from sunlight. They shelter countless species, anchor the soil, and slow the movement of water. They provide food, fuel, medicines, and building materials for human activity. They also help balance the Earth's carbon budget.Weggenmann could not agree more. "Trees are important to our very survival," he said.'Tree partners' can also plant flowers, herbs or vegetables in the open soil around the tree and can have a fence up to 1 foot in height around the open soil area. Personalized plaques will also be provided with the name of the person who adopted the tree and can be hung on their tree or placed on a pole that is stuck into the ground near their tree.To participate in the Adopt-A-Tree program, contact the EMD at CIV 09802-83-7079 or DSN 467-7079.