Team McConnell celebrates Arbor Day

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Alan Ricker
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. – Team McConnell celebrated its 24th Arbor Day celebration during a tree planting ceremony at base housing April 27.

Arbor Day has been held since 1872, and McConnell continues the tradition of tree planting as a means to improve the environment by planting 49 trees over the next two weeks.

“McConnell participates in Arbor Day to demonstrate our commitment to the environment and do our part as environmental stewards,” said Senior Master Sgt. Floyd Watkins, 22nd Civil Engineer Squadron operations superintendent.

By observing Arbor Day, the base continued to reinforce the 22nd Air Refueling Wing’s three lines of effort: character, communication and culture, commonly known as the three C’s.

“It builds character that reflects a willingness to be environmental stewards and to do the right thing under our own convictions,” said Watkins. “It communicates the importance of environmental considerations when we tackle our day-to-day operations and strengthens our culture of respect for the environment and the ecosystems around us.”

McConnell has demonstrated its support for 24 consecutive years by being a part of the Tree City USA community. In order to qualify for “Tree City” 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.

An October Glory Maple Tree was planted during the ceremony to provide not only an environmental benefit, but also as mentioned by Col. Phil Heseltine, 22nd Air Refueling Wing vice commander, it will provide a source of joy and spiritual renewal.

“I urge all citizens to plant trees to gladden the heart and promote the well-being of present and future generations,” said Heseltine.