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Schriever celebrates 145-year-old tradition with Arbor Day

Arbor Day

Makayla, 5, helps plant a ponderosa pine tree during the annual Arbor Day celebration and Schriever’s partnership with Tree City USA at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, June 14, 2019. Arbor Day is observed in the United States as a time to plant trees and reflect on the many advantages we derive from them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Halle Thornton)

Arbor Day

Rucker, 5, helps plant a ponderosa pine tree during the 21st anniversary celebration of Arbor Day and Schriever’s partnership with Tree City USA at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, June 14, 2019. Children spent the morning learning about the importance of trees and how they shape the environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Halle Thornton)

Arbor Day

Leighana, 5, helps plant a ponderosa pine tree during the 21st anniversary celebration of Arbor Day and Schriever’s partnership with Tree City USA at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, June 14, 2019. Arbor Day was established as a national observance in the 1870s. (U.S. Air Force photo by Halle Thornton)

Arbor Day

Shown are pots containing seeds for children to take home during the 21st anniversary celebration of Arbor Day and Schriever’s partnership with Tree City USA at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, June 14, 2019. Child Development Center and School Age Care program children helped plant a ponderosa pine tree and learned about the importance of trees and how they can shape the future environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Halle Thornton)

Arbor Day

Lt. Col. Christopher Teke, 50th Civil Engineer Squadron commander, explains the importance of Arbor Day to children during the 21st anniversary celebration of Arbor Day and Schriever’s partnership with Tree City USA at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, June 14, 2019. Child Development Center and School Age Care program children helped plant a tree and learned the importance of trees. (U.S. Air Force photo by Halle Thornton)

Arbor Day

Rucker, 5, helps plant a ponderosa pine tree during the 21st anniversary celebration of Arbor Day and Schriever’s partnership with Tree City USA at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, June 14, 2019. In 1885, Arbor Day was recognized as a holiday in Nebraska, and other states soon passed legislation to observe Arbor Day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Halle Thornton)

Arbor Day

Andy Schlosberg, Colorado State Forest Service representative, speaks to Child Development Center and School Age Care program children about the importance of Arbor Day during the annual Arbor Day celebration and Schriever’s partnership with Tree City USA at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, June 14, 2019. Children took home their own plants, seeds and coloring books. (U.S. Air Force photo by Halle Thornton)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

Child Development Center and School Age Care program children helped plant a ponderosa pine tree in honor of Arbor Day celebration and the Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, partnership with Tree City USA, June 14.

“Planting trees is an act of kindness and optimism, for our friends and neighbors, or future generations,” said Andy Schlosberg, Colorado State Forest Service representative. “The trees we plant clean the air, beautify our neighborhoods, supply homes for wildlife, and conserve energy and topsoil. Life is just better when we live among the trees.”

Schlosberg said the celebration of Arbor Day represents an opportunity for children to take positive action to make the world a better place and to learn about tress and the natural world.

“It’s an opportunity for neighbors to join together, for communities to reach across barriers to work for the common good,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to celebrate life and the interconnectedness of all creation.”

Schlosberg presented Lt. Col. Christopher Teke, 50th Civil Engineer Squadron commander, the award of Tree City USA for the 21st year.

“Because Schriever Air Force Base has shown a commitment to maintaining and improving the trees that make up its community forest, I am proud to present on behalf of the National Arbor Day Foundation, and the Colorado State Forest Service, the award of Tree City USA,” Schlosberg said. “This is Schriever’s 21st year as a Tree City USA, an accomplishment you should all be proud of. Congratulations and thank you.”

Teke began his speech explaining, “Arbor Day is observed in the United States as a time to plant trees and reflect on the many advantages we derive from trees.”

Teke explained the 145-year-old tradition began with a proclamation in Nebraska to observe the first Arbor Day April 10, 1874, encouraging homesteaders to plant trees that provide shade, shelter and beauty for the residence of the largely treeless plains.

“For the last 21 years, we have joined forces with the Colorado chapter of the Arbor Day Foundation and Colorado State Forest Service to observe this national day,” he said. “The planting of the tree symbolizes an act of faith in the future. By planting trees today, we are leaving a legacy to be enjoyed by future generations.”

Teke added planting trees also helps the environment.

“Trees filter air pollution, provide wildlife habitat and shade from the hot sun and protection from the cold winds,” he said. “Today we are planting a tree and making another investment in our future. Our commitment to planting trees and being part of the Tree City USA program is a great way to show Schriever’s commitment to the environment.”

Teke said Schriever AFB has exponentially grown during its relatively short existence and will continue to grow to support the mission.

“We, too, have a task before us to provide shade, shelter and beauty for future residents and workers of our base,” he said.

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