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Shaw celebrates continued sustainability

Photo shovels in the dirt around a tree.

Shovels impale the ground around a newly planted magnolia tree during an Arbor Day celebration at Shaw Heights Elementary at Shaw Air Force Base (AFB), South Carolina, Dec. 10, 2019. Arbor Day is celebrated in the winter months in South Carolina as recommended because it is easier for trees to take root in the milder weather months. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Gutierrez)

A photo of a group of people holding shovels around a tree.

Students and guests stand next to a newly planted magnolia tree during an Arbor Day celebration at Shaw Heights Elementary at Shaw Air Force Base (AFB), South Carolina, Dec. 10, 2019. The Arbor Day Celebration at Shaw AFB was a collaboration between Shaw AFB, Shaw Heights Elementary and the South Carolina Forestry Commission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Gutierrez)

A photo of a group of students stand with signs and posters.

Students show off their creative works for the Arbor Day celebration at Shaw Heights Elementary at Shaw Air Force Base (AFB), South Carolina, Dec. 10, 2019. Students learned about the importance of stewardship and sustainability through conversation of natural resources. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Gutierrez)

A photo of students on the sidewalk with a sign.

Students walk in an Arbor Day celebration parade at Shaw Heights Elementary at Shaw Air Force Base (AFB), South Carolina, Dec. 10, 2019. The parade was a transition between the indoor and outdoor portions of the program where Shaw AFB was recognized as an official Tree City USA for the 20th consecutive year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Gutierrez)

A photo of students watching a teacher hold a notepad.

Students read lyrics from a cue card during an Arbor Day celebration at Shaw Heights Elementary at Shaw Air Force Base (AFB), South Carolina, Dec. 10, 2019. The students participated in an Arbor Day celebration program where Shaw AFB was recognized as an official Tree City USA for the 20th consecutive year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Gutierrez)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- The Shaw community participated in a statewide Arbor Day celebration at Shaw Heights Elementary, Dec. 6.

The celebration correlated with Team Shaw receiving Tree City USA status, a designation that promotes sound urban forestry management, for the 20th consecutive year.

“This event today helps us maintain the Tree City USA status,” said Ronnie June, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron natural and cultural resources chief. “We’re doing what’s right by the environment by protecting and promoting trees.”

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, Tree City USA status is achieved by meeting four core standards of sound urban forestry management: maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.

“We want to be stewards of our community and that’s really important for Shaw to thrive,” said Robin Mills, 20th Mission Support Group installation support deputy director.

Mills continued to stress that Airmen and the base community have a responsibility to take care of the resources they have been given and to assist local agencies in doing so.

Representatives from Team Shaw, Shaw Heights Elementary and the South Carolina Forestry Commission watched students put on a program at their school illustrating their understanding of the importance of advocating stewardship and having an active presence in their environment.

Lowe Sharp, South Carolina Forestry Commission urban forester, said he was impressed by how much the students had learned and how they were already appreciating trees and the environmental impact they have.

After the program was finished, guests and students filed outside to watch a ceremonial tree planting.

A magnolia tree was planted in front of the school to begin laying down permanent roots in the balmy December weather.

“The students and their families are understanding the long term benefits of investing now for the future of our communities,” said Sharp.