FORT BRAGG, N.C. – Volunteers gathered in front of the XVIII Airborne Corps headquarters building for the installation’s official Arbor Days celebration, Feb. 8.
Between the seasons of Fall and Spring, Fort Bragg celebrates Arbor Day five times by selecting different locations throughout the installation to clean up and plant several variations of native vegetation in effort to make ‘Fort Bragg Greener.’
“Fort Bragg has a lot of mature trees and very few young trees, so the idea here is to plant the new generation of trees that will provide refuge from the hot North Carolina climate for the service members and their families 50 years from now,” Brian Vesely, Fort Bragg chief design of project management. “A big shoutout should go to the Fort Bragg Arbor Board who work tirelessly throughout the year to support the natural infrastructure and ensure native species are planted that will thrive in this environment.”
Arbor Day is nationally recognized on the last Friday of April, but many states observe Arbor Day on different dates throughout the year based on best tree planting times in their area.
This Arbor Day celebration culminated with an official ceremony where the Arbor Day proclamation was signed and 42 oak trees, several magnolia trees, two holly trees and 15 purple lily grasses were planted in the historic area along Macomb Street.
“I want to recognize all of the volunteers who come out time after time to help in the beautification of our installation – to those who take pride in making Fort Bragg a greener place to live and work,” said Col. John Wilcox, Fort Bragg garrison commander. “As the installation prepares for the name change, you may have noticed that we’ve taken down some of the sick and dead trees that used to circle the iconic XVIII Airborne Corps headquarters building. We probably won’t see the benefit of the trees we plant here today, but the generations to come after us will.”
The next Arbor Days events are March 8 at the Soldier Support Center, April 12 at the Soldier Recovery Unit, and May 10 at the Native American Pollinator Garden. Volunteers are always welcome to assist in the planting.
For more information on Arbor Days, follow the Fort Bragg Paraglide Facebook at www.facebook.com/BraggParaglide/.