Keesler named Tree City USA community for 19th year

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Keesler Air Force Base was recently named a Tree City USA community for its efforts and commitment to urban forestry by The Arbor Day Foundation.

This is the 19th year the Keesler has earned this national honor form the Arbor Day Foundation, the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees.

"We all benefit when communities like Keesler Air Force Base place a high priority on planting and caring for trees, one of our nation's most beautiful resources," said John Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the Arbor Day Foundation. "Trees shade our homes and add beauty to our neighborhoods, and they also provide many environmental, economic and social benefits. We applaud Keesler's elected officials, volunteers and citizens for providing vital care for its urban forest.

In order to become a Tree City USA community Keesler had to meet four standards. Tree City USA communities must have a tree board, a tree-care ordinance, a community Forestry program and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

During the 2012 Arbor Day observance Brig. Gen. Andrew Mueller, 81st Training Wing commander, with assistance from Keesler's Child Development Center pre-school class planted a live-oak tree at the CDC.

Keesler is home to more than 12,000 trees including approximately 25 acres that consist of the Naval Oaks Reserve located in the Marina Park area.

As a member of the Tree City USA community Keesler recognizes that trees promote a healthier community by filtering air; moderating climate, conserving water and providing a healthy habitat for wildlife; reducing the heat island effect in urban areas caused by pavement and buildings; and reducing energy use.