Fort McCoy News April 10, 2015

McCoy to celebrate Arbor Day, Tree City USA April 24

Fort McCoy will observe Arbor Day and receive its 26th Tree City USA designation April 24 at 9 a.m. in a ceremony near the post's old main gate.

The event is coordinated by the installation Forestry program, which is part of the Directorate of Public Works (DPW) Natural Resources Branch.

Arbor Day founder J. Sterling Morton started the observance in the late 19th century by organizing a statewide Arbor Day for Nebraska.

According to the National Arbor Day Foundation (NADF), Morton was a respected agriculturalist and is widely known for his push to educate the public about updated agricultural and forestry techniques.

During the first Arbor Day, an estimated 1 million trees were planted.

Today, many communities across America recognize Arbor Day every year in late April.

To qualify for a Tree City USA designation, a town or city must meet four standards established by the NADF and the National Association of State Foresters to ensure that every qualifying community would have a viable tree management plan and program, according to the NADF.

The four requirements are maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry, and celebrating Arbor Day.

Fort McCoy Forester James Kerkman said the installation meets all four requirements with an urban forestry program that completes tree care through a DPW contractor, establishment of Fort McCoy Regulation 420-34 — "Urban Tree Management," per capita findings from installation economic impact data, and the annual Arbor Day observance.

Fort McCoy holds an Arbor Day observance each year, usually on the official Arbor Day in Wisconsin on the last Friday in April, Kerkman said.

The installation ceremony will include planting trees, reading the Arbor Day proclamation, and presenting the Tree City USA award.

Children from the Fort McCoy Child Development Center will participate, and a children's proclamation also will be read.

All members of the Fort McCoy community are invited to attend.

For more information about the 2015 Fort McCoy Arbor Day/Tree City USA observance, call Kerkman at 608-388-2102.

   (Article prepared by the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office and the DPW Forestry Program.)