FORT LEWIS, Wash. – Fort Lewis will celebrate Earth Day on Tuesday, April 22 at 3 p.m. with a tree planting in a post housing area located next to the Interstate 5 corridor. The trees will provide beautification and, in time, a privacy screen for area residents and a community center that is exposed to I-5 traffic.
More than 30 Fort Lewis family members, including members of Brownie Girl Scout Troop # 403 and the Family Readiness Group of Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 42nd Military Police Brigade, have volunteered to help plant 40 pine and cedar trees. The 120-member HHC, 42nd MP Brigade deployed to Iraq in late February. Half of the family members who will be planting trees are off-post residents who say they want to do their share in making Fort Lewis a “greener” place to live.
“I wanted to do this because it’s not only an opportunity to give back to the community, but also to do something good for the environment,” said Lori Bollay, Family Readiness Group Leader for the HHC, 42nd MP Brigade.
In the past two years Fort Lewis has celebrated Earth Day with green procurement informational displays, environmental exhibits, and the grand opening and tour of the new Fort Lewis Recycle Center. This year the installation is going beyond information sharing to engage the community and challenging them to become actively involved in taking care of the environment.
Since 2007, the Fort Lewis Installation Sustainability Program has been spreading the word that we can all be part of the solution by choosing to do one simple act every day that will make a positive difference in our community and our environment. Additional Earth Day displays are planned on May 9 at the Installation Safety Day Exhibition.
Why plant trees?
‚Ä¢ Planting trees remains one of the cheapest, most effective means of drawing excess CO2 from the atmosphere. — Prow, Tina., “The Power of Trees”, Human Environmental Research Laboratory at University of Illinois.
‚Ä¢ A single mature tree can absorb carbon dioxide at a rate of 48 lbs./year and release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support 2 human beings. — McAliney, Mike. Arguments for Land Conservation: Documentation and Information Sources for Land Resources Protection, Trust for Public Land, Sacramento, CA, December, 1993
‚Ä¢ If every American family planted just one tree, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere would be reduced by one billion lbs annually. — American Forestry Association Tree Facts: Growing Greener Cities, 1992
‚Ä¢ Over a 50-year lifetime, a tree generates $31,250 worth of oxygen, provides $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water, and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion. — USDA Forest Service Pamphlet #R1-92-100