YORKTOWN (NNS) -- Naval Weapons Station (NWS) Yorktown-Cheatham Annex was named a "Tree City USA" community by the Arbor Day Foundation April 3, to honor its commitment to community forestry.
This is the first year NWS Yorktown-Cheatham Annex has received this national recognition.
"This is a tremendous honor for the entire Yorktown team," said Capt. Bette Bolivar, NWS Yorktown commanding officer. "As we support our warfighting assets with precision ordnance, we must also protect our environmental assets. Team Yorktown will continue to work hard in preserving those assets for the entire Hampton Roads community."
The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service.
NWS Yorktown-Cheatham Annex has met the four standards to become a Tree City USA community: having a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
Communities that receive Tree City USA recognition not only have taken the time to meet these standards, they recognize that trees promote healthier communities, they moderate climate, conserve water and provide habitat for wildlife.
"A community, its elected official and its citizens that provide needed care for its trees deserves recognition and thanks," said John Rosenow, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. "Trees are a vital component of the infrastructure in our cities and towns, and they also provide environmental and economical benefits. Cities that are recognized with a Tree City USA designation go to great lengths to plant and care for the community forest."
All these efforts require a lot of planning and organization between NWS Yorktown and the Naval Facilities Mid-Atlantic Command (NAVFAC) in maintaining these pristine landscapes.
"We work closely with the planning section in the NWS Yorktown Public Works Department, reviewing development and landscape plans in an attempt to try to avoid tree removal, or at the very least, minimize tree removal and other impacts. We also plant a variety of trees every year on demolition sites, which also benefits the abundant wildlife here," said Al Gregg, environmental director, NWS Yorktown. "We also create forest buffers and restore and create wetland areas in conjunction with the numerous Installation Environmental Restoration projects."
With Arbor Day, April 24, quickly approaching, NWS Yorktown will celebrate its new status as "Tree City USA" by doing what it does every year ... planting a few trees.
"Every Arbor Day, we plant red oak, maple, willow oak and other native trees at various locations on NWS Yorktown and at Cheatham Annex," Gregg added. "It's what we do."
For more news from Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, visit www.navy.mil/local/nwsyorktown/.