Maintenance window scheduled to begin at February 14th 2200 est. until 0400 est. February 15th


Forgot Password?

    Defense Visual Information Distribution Service Logo

    Fort McCoy plans 2024 Arbor Day celebration

    Fort McCoy plans 2024 Arbor Day celebration

    Photo By Scott Sturkol | Event-goers stop for a photo with the Tree City USA flag as Fort McCoy, Wis., held its...... read more read more

    Fort McCoy will hold its annual Arbor Day celebration 9 a.m. April 26 west of building 101 on the cantonment area at the installation.

    During the observance, Fort McCoy Garrison leadership and other installation personnel will help children from the post Child Development Center plant hundreds of tree seedlings, said Forester Charles Mentzel with the Forestry Office of the Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch.

    “This is always a fun event, and everyone is invited to attend and help plant trees,” Mentzel said. “The post will also be receiving its 35th Tree City USA award from the National Arbor Day Foundation (NADF) during the celebration.”

    According to, the origins of Arbor Day dates to the early 1870s in Nebraska City, Neb. A journalist by the name of Julius Sterling Morton moved to the state with his wife, Caroline, in 1854. The couple purchased 160 acres in Nebraska City and planted a wide variety of trees and shrubs in what was a primarily a flat stretch of desolate plain.

    Morton later became editor of the state’s first newspaper, Nebraska City News, which became a platform for Morton to spread his knowledge of trees and to stress their ecological importance within Nebraska.

    On Jan. 7, 1872, Morton proposed a day that would encourage all Nebraskans to plant trees in their community. An agriculture board agreed, and Arbor Day was born. The first Arbor Day was held April 10, 1872.

    The tradition spread quickly. Within 20 years, Arbor Day had reached a large swath of the nation and was celebrated in every state except for Delaware. It wasn’t until 1970, however, that Arbor Day became recognized nationwide, thanks to President Richard Nixon. This move was in line with other environmentally friendly actions taken by Nixon in the 1970s, including the passing of the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Protection Act, and more.

    Mentzel said the Fort McCoy Arbor Day event is always coordinated by the installation Forestry program. In addition to the hundreds of trees planned for planting during the observance, thousands more will be planted on post.

    “Planting thousands of new trees is an effort that is repeated every year on post,” Mentzel said. “Fort McCoy has more than 46,000 acres of forested land managed by the Forestry Office, and it’s important to maintain those forested areas.”

    In 2023, in addition to the area of the ceremony, thousands of trees were in Training Area B-05 and Training Area A-04 on post, Mentzel said. A similar effort to plant thousands of additional trees will also take place in 2024 on May 4 when a planned 4,500 trees will be planted in Training Area B-05 as well.

    During the 2023 Arbor Day ceremony in the same location on post, Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. Stephen Messenger led the start of the ceremony.

    “Happy Arbor Day everybody,” Messenger said. He asked the children many questions about trees. One child said she liked apple trees. Another said she liked trees because her dad liked them. Another child said they liked trees because they give shade and grow tall. And there was much more.

    And at the end, they all said in unison, “I declare today, Arbor Day!” And then everyone commenced to planting hundreds of trees. The 2024 event should be similar.

    Fort McCoy’s motto is to be the “Total Force Training Center.” Located in the heart of the upper Midwest, Fort McCoy is the only U.S. Army installation in Wisconsin.

    The installation has provided support and facilities for the field and classroom training of more than 100,000 military personnel from all services nearly every year since 1984.

    Learn more about Fort McCoy online at, on the Defense Visual Information Distribution System at, on Facebook by searching “ftmccoy,” and on Twitter by searching “usagmccoy.” Also try downloading the Digital Garrison app to your smartphone and set “Fort McCoy” or another installation as your preferred base.

    (The Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch contributed to this article.)



    Date Taken: 04.05.2024
    Date Posted: 04.05.2024 13:07
    Story ID: 467908

    Web Views: 132
    Downloads: 0