Cannon named as Tree City USA community

By Senior Airman Thomas Trower: 27th SOW Public Affairs

The 27th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron Natural Resources Management Flight is beginning its annual Arbor Day observances with several events.

Perhaps the most significant event will be the Arbor Day Foundation’s official naming of Cannon as a Tree City USA community and the presentation of Cannon’s first Growth Award Wednesday in a ceremony at 10 a.m. at Doc Stewart Park.

“(The Arbor Day Foundation) recognizes our dedication to natural resources protection and conservation as related to trees and urban forestry,” said Brian Essex, the 27 SOCES Natural Resources Planner. “We work to promote conservation on base and in the local community.”

A representative of base leadership will speak at the ceremony before Shannon Atencio, of the New Mexico State Forestry department, speaks and presents the awards.

Cannon has sponsored an annual celebration for Arbor Day since 1992 and this is the 11th consecutive year Cannon has received the Tree City title. To become known as a Tree City, a community must have a tree board or department, establish a tree care ordinance, maintain a community forestry program, and produce an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. The Growth Award, furthermore, requires local environmental improvement. It not only recognizes achievement, but also communicates new ideas to leaders of all Tree Cities, according to the Tree City USA Web site: www.arborday.org/programs/treeCityUSA.

The Arbor Day Foundation lists 15 reasons to become a Tree City, including making a strong contribution to a community’s pride and providing education to improve current urban forestry practices. Cannon organizers say that mission success is also an important reason to become a Tree City.

“Effective conservation of our natural resources is important and will better enable the 27th Special Operations Wing to carry out our mission,” said Essex.

There are currently 3,310 Tree Cities across the United States, with more than 120 million residents, according to the Tree City USA Web site. Of those, only 534 communities have received the Growth Award.