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JBER presented with Tree City USA award

JBER kicks off their 27th year of celebrating Arbor Day by having JBER Girl Scouts plant a...
JBER kicks off their 27th year of celebrating Arbor Day by having JBER Girl Scouts plant a Spruce tree outside of the Troop Medical Clinic.(Georgina Fernandez)
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 9:26 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The JBER Girl Scout troops 2-10-10 and 2-0-0-5-1 celebrated Arbor Day by planting a spruce tree outside of JBER Troop Medical Clinic.

“They were just super excited,” JBER Natural Resource Manager Cayley Elsik said. “They were kept asking, are we planting a tree today? Yes.”

This year marks the 27th year that the base has celebrated Arbor Day by planting a tree. The Girl Scouts stepped up to help out this year.

“I think it is great that they are getting involved and they just wanted to help out and get their hands dirty and I think they did a great job,” Elsik said.

In addition this week, the Division of Forestry presented JBER a Tree City USA award on behalf of the National Arbor Day Foundation. The base was presented the award for their ongoing commitment to planting and caring for trees in the community.

According to the department, planting spruce trees specifically in Alaska is important. The department said over the last several years, due to spruce bark beetles, many spruce trees have been killed.

“Spruce have been heavily impacted throughout Southcentral Alaska including JBER in the last number of years by the Spruce beetle,” said Department of Natural Resources Community Forestry Program Manager Jim Renkert. “You drive around Southcentral Alaska you will see dead standing spruce trees and those have been more than likely been killed by the spruce beetles.”

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