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Arbor Day celebrated at Shaw

Team Shaw members planted a Cherrybark Oak tree in celebration of Arbor Day at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Dec. 13, 2017.

Team Shaw members planted a Cherrybark Oak tree in celebration of Arbor Day at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Dec. 13, 2017. Trees moderate temperatures, help reduce air, water and noise pollution, and provide habitats for wildlife. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Ingold)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Grover, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) commander, accepts the Tree City USA award from Everett Sharpe, South Carolina Forestry Commission urban forester, at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Dec. 13, 2017.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Grover, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) commander, accepts the Tree City USA award from Everett Sharpe, South Carolina Forestry Commission urban forester, at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Dec. 13, 2017. The 20th CES manages trees at Shaw as well as Poinsett Electronic Combat Range, near Wedgefield, S.C. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Ingold)

Everett Sharpe, South Carolina Forestry Commission urban forester, speaks about the history of the Tree City USA community at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Dec. 13, 2017.

Everett Sharpe, South Carolina Forestry Commission urban forester, speaks about the history of the Tree City USA community at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Dec. 13, 2017. Shaw has been a member of the Tree City USA community for the past 18 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Ingold)

Aaron Souto, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron forester, speaks about the history of Arbor Day at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Dec. 13, 2017.

Aaron Souto, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron forester, speaks about the history of Arbor Day at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Dec. 13, 2017. Arbor Day was founded in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska City, Neb., after missing the tree-filled landscape of Michigan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Ingold)

The 20th Civil Engineer Squadron planted the first Cherrybark Oak tree at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., in honor of Arbor Day, Dec. 13, 2017.

The 20th Civil Engineer Squadron planted the first Cherrybark Oak tree at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., in honor of Arbor Day, Dec. 13, 2017. Many birds and wild animals, such as blue jays, gray squirrels and wild turkeys use the acorns of the Cherrybark Oak tree as food. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Ingold)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. – Since the first Arbor Day celebration was held in 1872 in Nebraska City, Nebraska, the idea of celebrating tree planting as a means to improve the environment has spread to all 50 states.

Arbor Day was observed at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Dec. 13, 2017, meeting the requirements to keep Shaw a Tree City USA.

“Shaw Air Force Base is proud to participate in this celebration for the quality of our environment and the educational opportunity provided to our community,” said Lt. Col. Robert Grover, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron commander. “As a demonstration of our commitment to the environment, we have planted a Cherrybark Oak, a handsome tree native to South Carolina.”

In order to qualify for a Tree City USA community status, four standards must be met:
-A tree board or department must be established.
-A tree care ordinance must be maintained by the community.
-A community forestry program with an annual budget of at least two dollars per capita.
-An Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

Team Shaw and 20th CES leadership meet these annual requirements to make sure Shaw stays qualified.

“For 18 years, Shaw AFB has exemplified the spirit and commitment of a community that recognizes the importance of trees in our urban areas,” said Everett Sharpe, S.C. Forestry Commission urban forester. “Try to imagine Shaw AFB without trees, or take a look at towns that are not very appealing. Probably what is missing is a tree program.”

Shaw joins communities as small as Sibley, North Dakota, population of 28, and as big as New York City, population over 8 million, as a Tree City USA.

The 20th CES continues to plant and maintain trees across Shaw and its properties, including Poinsett Electronic Combat Range, near Wedgefield, S.C., to ensure Shaw is an ally to the environment.