FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- "The mission is to create a robust, resilient, sustainable and beautiful natural infrastructure system that enhances the installation's character," stated Brian Vesely, registered architect with the Fort Bragg Directorate of Public Works and Arbor Board chair.
In alignment with the mission and ahead of Arbor Day, members with DPW spearheaded a tree-planting event encompassing a combined 46 Pecan and Dogwood trees in the field across the street from Womack Army Medical Center's Reilly Road entry, Feb. 13.
"We are planting the next generation of Pecan Trees in front of the Normandy Heights Neighborhood, so future generations can gather pecans," said Vesely. "We are also planting Dogwoods to create a flowering understory in the existing pine grove."
The tree-planting opportunity was open to the community who were interested in lending a hand in planting 16 Pecan and 30 Dogwood trees. The trees are native to the area and adapted to the region. Approximately, 75 Soldiers, Families, and friends volunteered for the occasion.
"We try to make each event educational," said Vesely. "At this event, Erich Hoffman, senior wildlife biologist, will demonstrate how to properly plant a tree."
Hoffman, along with team members, demonstrated how to appropriately place a young Pecan tree in a hole and how to stabilize the tree while covering it with soil. It was a team effort, taking a team of three or four volunteers to plant the Pecan trees.
Hoffman stated that "it will take about 10 to 15 years before the trees reach" a mature age.
"It'll take years before they start reaching up and getting into the canopy," said Hoffman. "It'll take a bit of time. That's something we forget. They're a long-lived species, and it takes a while. They don't grow as fast as we think they might. It can take a person's lifetime."
The February event was just one of multiple events in celebrating Arbor Day.
"We have public events for tree planting," said Hoffman. "We talk about the purpose of planting trees, the environmental stewardship, and the sustainability of landscaping here at Fort Bragg.
Upcoming events are planned later in the year.