JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- The Arbor Day Foundation recently named Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) a 2017 Tree City USA, an honor the base has earned for 21 years running.
Stephen Nickle, State of Alaska Division of Forestry, will present the Tree City USA award to JBER during Arbor Day events May 17 at 2 p.m. at the log cache located near Arctic Warrior Drive and Pease Street, and May 21 at 1:30 p.m. at Ursa Major Elementary School.
For the 10 a.m. observance, attendees can park at the Eagleglen Fitness Park.
According to a foundation press release, JBER achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting four requirements: convening a tree board, instituting a tree-care policy, having an annual forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and hosting an Arbor Day observance.
Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation president, wrote a letter congratulating JBER on the achievement.
“I write to congratulate Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on earning recognition as a 2017 Tree City USA,” Lambe wrote. “Residents of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson should be proud to live in a community that makes the planting and care of trees a priority.”
JBER is one of more than 3,400 Tree City USA communities representing a combined population of 140 million. The program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.
According to the foundation release, trees provide several benefits to a community when properly planted and maintained. They help to improve neighborhood atmospheres, increase property values, cool homes during the summer, remove air pollutants, and provide wildlife habitat.
“If ever there were a time for trees, now is that time,” Lambe wrote. “Communities worldwide are facing issues with air quality, water resources, personal health and well-being, and energy use.
“Joint Base-Elmendorf-Richardson is stepping up to do its part,” Lambe's letter continued. “As a result of your commitment to effective urban forest management, you are helping to provide a solution to these global challenges. We celebrate your commitment to the people and trees of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and thank you for helping to create a healthier planet for all of us.”