FORT STEWART, Ga. - Two small dogwood trees were planted outside the Outpatient clinic at Winn Army Community Hospital, Feb. 22, in celebration of Arbor Day. The dogwood tree is known for its bright, aromatic flower and is a welcome addition to the hospital grounds.

Many celebrate Arbor Day by planting trees, but clearly it symbolizes the future. Arbor Day is about the future rather than simply celebrating the past. Julius Sterling Morton, the father of Arbor Day, said "other holidays repose upon the past; Arbor Day proposes for the future." Every tree planted for Arbor Day helps to clean our air, water, provide homes for wildlife, conserve energy and also helps to beautify our surroundings.

The very first Arbor Day took place April 10, 1872 in Nebraska and the Georgia General Assembly proclaimed the first Georgia Arbor Day back in 1890. This day is now recognized in all 50 states although the actual tree planting date may vary by state because of climate conditions. More than one million trees have been planted in celebration of Arbor Day.

Jessica Works-Cassell, ultrasound technician at Winn, coordinated with Liberty County's Keep Liberty Beautiful program to make this event possible. Keep Liberty Beautiful is a volunteer community education program and is dedicated to community beautification.

Mrs. Works-Cassell had worked with the group in the past year, planting several trees, and thought that it would be a great idea to plant trees at her work site. "Whenever you walk out, especially during Spring, it's so pretty just to see a gorgeous tree," said Mrs. Works-Cassell.

Colonel Paul Cordts, hospital commander, shared the same sentiment and thought it was important for Winn to participate. "To me, trees symbolize a partnership that we have with Fort Stewart, the installation, Liberty County and the City of Hinesville," he said. "This is just one more example of how this community has supported the Soldiers, Family Members of Fort Stewart."

Planting trees in honor of Arbor Day is great way to learn about the importance of trees in our state and nation. The best time to plant trees in Georgia is between the months of November and mid-March, giving it time to establish itself before the hot, dry summer months. Arbor Day is celebrated in Georgia on or shortly after the third Friday of February while the National Arbor day is the third Friday in April.

Contact the Keep Liberty office located in Hinesville at 912-880-4888 to learn more information on how to get started for next year. You can also visit to learn about upcoming beautification events on the installation and nearby communities.