HAFB reaches 10 year milestone as a Tree City USA

  • Published
  • By Lucas Oligschlaeger
  • 49 Civil Engineering Squadron
Many people, even those of us who work or live on Holloman, are unaware that Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. is a Tree City USA. For the past 10 years, Holloman has been awarded this status by the Arbor Day Foundation.

The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization, founded in 1972, which is 100 years after the first Arbor Day observance during the 19th century. The foundation is the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with nearly one million members, supporters, and valued partners.

You may ask: what makes Holloman a Tree City and what are the benefits afforded to Holloman residents?

To qualify to be a Tree City USA, a town or city must meet four standards established by The Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters. These standards ensure that every qualifying community will have a viable tree management plan and program. The four criteria are: a tree board or department, tree care ordinance or policy, community forestry program with annual budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance including a proclamation.

Holloman reaps various benefits from attaining Tree City status. Being a Tree City USA helps present a community image that most citizens want to have for the place they live or work. Presentation of the Tree City USA award and the celebration of Arbor Day offer an excellent opportunity to showcase how the Department of Defense and the Air Force serve as environmental stewards of the various natural resources present within the borders of Holloman. Gaining and retaining Tree City USA recognition is also an award to the tree workers, contracted managers, volunteers, tree board members and others who work on behalf of better care of a community's trees.

Indirect benefits of proper community forestry management include reduced cost for energy, storm water management, and erosion control. Studies indicate that as few as three additional trees planted around each U.S. building could save our country over $2 billion annually in energy costs.

If you don't think any of these effects can reach you as an individual, please let the celebration of Arbor Day serve as a reminder that we all benefit from the cleaner air, shadier streets, and aesthetic beauty that healthy, well-managed urban forests provide.