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Wright-Patt, ODNR team up on reforestation efforts

Wendi Van Buren, a regional urban forester with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, studies the growth of a little leaf Linden tree near the Turtle Pond at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio on May 18, 2021. The 88th Civil Engineer Group has partnered with the ODNR Division of Forestry to design a tree planting strategy for Wright-Patt. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ty Greenlees)

Wendi Van Buren, a regional urban forester with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, studies the growth of a little leaf Linden tree near the Turtle Pond at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio on May 18, 2021. The 88th Civil Engineer Group has partnered with the ODNR Division of Forestry to design a tree planting strategy for Wright-Patt. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ty Greenlees)

Wendi Van Buren, a regional urban forester with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, left, and Danielle Trevino, a biological scientist with the 88th Civil Engineer Group, study the trees near the Turtle Pond at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio on May 18, 2021. The 88 CEG has partnered with the ODNR Division of Forestry to design a tree planting strategy for Wright-Patt. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ty Greenlees)

Wendi Van Buren, a regional urban forester with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, left, and Danielle Trevino, a biological scientist with the 88th Civil Engineer Group, study the trees near the Turtle Pond at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio on May 18, 2021. The 88 CEG has partnered with the ODNR Division of Forestry to design a tree planting strategy for Wright-Patt. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ty Greenlees)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- The 88th Civil Engineer Group has partnered with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry to develop and enhance operations across Wright-Patterson AFB.

Environmental Branch managers have collaborated with ODNR over the last few years to plan, lay out and plant hundreds of trees on Areas A and B.

 “We have numerous ongoing enhancement projects that simply would not exist if not for our partnership with ODNR Division of Forestry,” said Danielle Trevino, a biological scientist with 88 CEG. “We helped facilitate a large-scale tree planting project in the Prairies housing area, through a donation from the Arbor Day Foundation.”

Wright-Patterson AFB has been a Tree City USA community for nearly 25 years. This is a designation awarded by the Arbor Day Foundation, in recognition of its work to maintain a healthy urban forest on the installation.

An urban forest includes trees growing in a community (instead of a forest). They’re found along streets, parks and landscaped areas.

Trevino said the Environmental Branch has worked with Wendi Van Buren, a regional urban forester from ODNR, to create a comprehensive reforestation plan for Wright Brothers Memorial. 

“We have already completed several planting projects on site and intend to finish the project within the next couple of years,” she added.

Base leaders say the ODNR arrangement is a prime example of the “Foster deliberate partnerships” concept, an updated line of effort in the 88th Air Base Wing’s new strategic plan.

“The base’s partnership with ODNR is critical in many aspects and one that we value,” said Amir Mott, 88 CEG deputy director. “The joint support we provide to each other has both local and state of Ohio impacts, which include environmental resiliency and natural habitat for various species of animal life. And it’s a fairly low-cost investment considering the benefits.

“We look forward to the continued and lasting relationship with ODNR, which has grown tremendously over the years.”         

For the last four years, WPAFB has earned “Growth Awards” from the Arbor Day Foundation for going above and beyond in its commitment to maintaining a healthy urban forest on base.

“We couldn’t have done it alone,” Trevino said, adding the ODNR Division of Forestry partnership has been crucial.

Van Buren and other regional urban foresters assist communities with properly managing their green infrastructure.

“People don’t see trees, they feel them,” Van Buren said. “Areas that have a well-maintained tree canopy have people in them who are healthier, happier and calmer – and my work with the base’s tree board helps create shaded spaces to offer these important benefits.”

Her work with WPAFB includes developing management plans and leading arboriculture training sessions for 88 CEG staff. The base has also hosted the ODNR Division of Forestry’s Tree Commission Academy, a unique educational opportunity designed to give those responsible for planning and managing community trees the skills and knowledge they need to be successful.

“This reforestation plan couldn’t have taken place without the expertise of our partners at ODNR,” Trevino said. “Currently, we are working on a draft plan to enhance the urban forest in the historic Brick Quarters on base. If approved, this plan will help sustain and beautify the grounds of our base housing area.” 

So far this year, the Environmental Branch planted a section of trees beneficial to pollinator species, a section of white flowering trees and sugar maple cultivars at the Wright Brothers Memorial. 

In 2022, base officials will plant a “food forestry” section of trees in honor of local Native American tribes, Trevino said.

“We hope to invite tribe members out and collaborate with Fairborn City Schools to have an Arbor Day celebration and tree-planting event,” she added. 

She said each of these activities builds a tree program that supports a well-managed urban forest, which then offers the most benefits to the base. 

“In the world of environmental conservation, it really takes folks from all areas of expertise and experience coming together to make great work happen,” Trevino said. “WPAFB is fortunate to have so many superb partnerships. Access to trees promotes mental well-being, which enhances mission readiness and effectiveness. 

“We are happy to be able to collaborate with such wonderful partners to do our part to maintain the health of our natural resources on base…to the benefit of our Airmen and our workforce.”

For more information about WPAFB’s reforestation efforts, contact Danielle Trevino at 937-257-8555 or danielle.trevino.1@us.af.mil.The 88th Civil Engineer Group has partnered with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry to develop and enhance operations across Wright-Patterson AFB.

Environmental Branch managers have collaborated with ODNR over the last few years to plan, lay out and plant hundreds of trees on Areas A and B.

 “We have numerous ongoing enhancement projects that simply would not exist if not for our partnership with ODNR Division of Forestry,” said Danielle Trevino, a biological scientist with 88 CEG. “We helped facilitate a large-scale tree planting project in the Prairies housing area, through a donation from the Arbor Day Foundation.”

Wright-Patterson AFB has been a Tree City USA community for nearly 25 years. This is a designation awarded by the Arbor Day Foundation, in recognition of its work to maintain a healthy urban forest on the installation.

An urban forest includes trees growing in a community (instead of a forest). They’re found along streets, parks and landscaped areas.

Trevino said the Environmental Branch has worked with Wendi Van Buren, a regional urban forester from ODNR, to create a comprehensive reforestation plan for Wright Brothers Memorial. 

“We have already completed several planting projects on site and intend to finish the project within the next couple of years,” she added.

Base leaders say the ODNR arrangement is a prime example of the “Foster deliberate partnerships” concept, an updated line of effort in the 88th Air Base Wing’s new strategic plan.

“The base’s partnership with ODNR is critical in many aspects and one that we value,” said Amir Mott, 88 CEG deputy director. “The joint support we provide to each other has both local and state of Ohio impacts, which include environmental resiliency and natural habitat for various species of animal life. And it’s a fairly low-cost investment considering the benefits.

“We look forward to the continued and lasting relationship with ODNR, which has grown tremendously over the years.”         

For the last four years, WPAFB has earned “Growth Awards” from the Arbor Day Foundation for going above and beyond in its commitment to maintaining a healthy urban forest on base.

“We couldn’t have done it alone,” Trevino said, adding the ODNR Division of Forestry partnership has been crucial.

Van Buren and other regional urban foresters assist communities with properly managing their green infrastructure.

“People don’t see trees, they feel them,” Van Buren said. “Areas that have a well-maintained tree canopy have people in them who are healthier, happier and calmer – and my work with the base’s tree board helps create shaded spaces to offer these important benefits.”

Her work with WPAFB includes developing management plans and leading arboriculture training sessions for 88 CEG staff. The base has also hosted the ODNR Division of Forestry’s Tree Commission Academy, a unique educational opportunity designed to give those responsible for planning and managing community trees the skills and knowledge they need to be successful.

“This reforestation plan couldn’t have taken place without the expertise of our partners at ODNR,” Trevino said. “Currently, we are working on a draft plan to enhance the urban forest in the historic Brick Quarters on base. If approved, this plan will help sustain and beautify the grounds of our base housing area.” 

So far this year, the Environmental Branch planted a section of trees beneficial to pollinator species, a section of white flowering trees and sugar maple cultivars at the Wright Brothers Memorial. 

In 2022, base officials will plant a “food forestry” section of trees in honor of local Native American tribes, Trevino said.

“We hope to invite tribe members out and collaborate with Fairborn City Schools to have an Arbor Day celebration and tree-planting event,” she added. 

She said each of these activities builds a tree program that supports a well-managed urban forest, which then offers the most benefits to the base. 

“In the world of environmental conservation, it really takes folks from all areas of expertise and experience coming together to make great work happen,” Trevino said. “WPAFB is fortunate to have so many superb partnerships. Access to trees promotes mental well-being, which enhances mission readiness and effectiveness. 

“We are happy to be able to collaborate with such wonderful partners to do our part to maintain the health of our natural resources on base…to the benefit of our Airmen and our workforce.”

For more information about WPAFB’s reforestation efforts, contact Danielle Trevino at 937-257-8555 or danielle.trevino.1@us.af.mil.