Dozens of trees planted near Family housing area with help from OCS volunteers

By Franklin FisherMarch 15, 2021

Fort Benning Public Affairs

FORT BENNING, Ga. – Students enrolled in Officer Candidate School here take part in a volunteer class project March 13, planting trees – oaks and magnolias – near the Indianhead Village Family housing area at Fort Benning. The Soldiers put in 61 trees in two rows at a point between Lavoie Avenue and Derrickson Street. They were members of Delta Company, 3rd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment, part of the 199th Infantry Brigade, and are enrolled in OCS class 003-2. Planting a tree are Officer Candidate Hannah Hogan (left) and Officer Candidate Athena Glavasis. Fort Benning arranged the tree-planting with support from Trees Columbus, which is an environmental non-profit organization in Columbus, Georgia, and The Villages of Benning, a private firm that manages Family Housing here in partnership with the Army.
FORT BENNING, Ga. – Students enrolled in Officer Candidate School here take part in a volunteer class project March 13, planting trees – oaks and magnolias – near the Indianhead Village Family housing area at Fort Benning. The Soldiers put in 61 trees in two rows at a point between Lavoie Avenue and Derrickson Street. They were members of Delta Company, 3rd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment, part of the 199th Infantry Brigade, and are enrolled in OCS class 003-2. Planting a tree are Officer Candidate Hannah Hogan (left) and Officer Candidate Athena Glavasis. Fort Benning arranged the tree-planting with support from Trees Columbus, which is an environmental non-profit organization in Columbus, Georgia, and The Villages of Benning, a private firm that manages Family Housing here in partnership with the Army. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by 2nd Lt. Alex Gudenkauf, Maneuver Center of Excellence/Fort Benning Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT BENNING, Ga. – A stretch of ground that had no trees now has dozens growing in two rows after Soldier volunteers from Officer Candidate School here took shovels in hand and planted them March 13 beside the Indianhead Village housing area.

The trees – oaks and magnolias – went in along an open field that takes up about two blocks beside Indianhead Road, at a point between Lavoie Avenue and Derrickson Street, near the duplexes of the Indianhead Village Family housing area.

The Soldiers planted a total of 61 trees: five live oaks, 16 Nuttall oaks, and 40 Jane saucer magnolias, with the oaks ranged in one row and the smaller "ornamental" magnolias in another, said Kirk Ticknor, interim Housing Division chief at U.S. Army Garrison Fort Benning's Directorate of Public Works (DPW).

The trees currently range in height from 10 to 15 feet with trunks of about a half-inch to an inch in diameter, Ticknor said.

The planting added trees to what had been "this big open field with a basketball court in the middle of it – that's pretty barren," Ticknor said prior to the planting. "And so by planting some ornamental trees with some nice live oaks above them, you're really gonna improve the appearance of the entrance to that neighborhood.

"Ornamentals'll be in a single file, literally right alongside Indianhead Road," said Ticknor, "and then your bigger trees'll be a little closer to that basketball court, also in a row.

"So you'll have a long row of small, ornamental trees that are probably flowering in the spring, and then behind them would be larger oak trees that'll provide some nice shade, improve the view," he said.

The 133 Soldiers who volunteered for the planting were officer candidates from Delta Company, 3rd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment, part of Fort Benning's 199th Infantry Brigade, and are enrolled in OCS class 003-2.

FORT BENNING, Ga. – Students enrolled in Officer Candidate School here take part in a volunteer class project March 13, planting trees – oaks and magnolias – near the Indianhead Village Family housing area at Fort Benning. The Soldiers put in 61 trees in two rows at a point between Lavoie Avenue and Derrickson Street. They were members of Delta Company, 3rd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment, part of the 199th Infantry Brigade, and are enrolled in OCS class 003-2. Fort Benning arranged the tree-planting with support from Trees Columbus, which is an environmental non-profit organization in Columbus, Georgia, and The Villages of Benning, a private firm that manages Family Housing here in partnership with the Army.
FORT BENNING, Ga. – Students enrolled in Officer Candidate School here take part in a volunteer class project March 13, planting trees – oaks and magnolias – near the Indianhead Village Family housing area at Fort Benning. The Soldiers put in 61 trees in two rows at a point between Lavoie Avenue and Derrickson Street. They were members of Delta Company, 3rd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment, part of the 199th Infantry Brigade, and are enrolled in OCS class 003-2. Fort Benning arranged the tree-planting with support from Trees Columbus, which is an environmental non-profit organization in Columbus, Georgia, and The Villages of Benning, a private firm that manages Family Housing here in partnership with the Army. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by 2nd Lt. Alex Gudenkauf, Maneuver Center of Excellence/Fort Benning Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

Arrangements to buy and plant the trees were worked out between a civil engineer from Fort Benning's DPW, an arborist from Trees Columbus, which is an environmental non-profit organization in Columbus, Georgia, and with the support of The Villages of Benning, a private firm that manages Family housing at Fort Benning in partnership with the Army here, Ticknor said.

The Villages dug holes for the trees several days before the event, said Ticknor, and the Soldiers planted the trees with guidance and advice from Trees Columbus.

The planting buoyed the spirits of the Delta Company officer candidates, said its class president, Officer Candidate Charles Curtis, 26, who upon graduating March 19 will become a second lieutenant in the Infantry branch.

"It was great because we've been here since fall, so the majority of all our time here has been winter," said Curtis. "We stayed out in the field during some cold times.

"So," he said, "to be out there during good weather, towards the end of our tenure here, contributing to not only the beauty of the base but also just like, helping something grow, if we come back five, 10, 30 years from now to Fort Benning later on in our career, and that esplanade has grown to something beautiful to look at, we'll be able to know, 'Oh, we contributed to that.' It was good. I will absolutely say that the mood was high."