MILTON — Naval Air Station Whiting Field marked the 43rd anniversary of the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA program this week by planting a Nuttall oak tree on the installation.

NAS Whiting Field is celebrating 28 consecutive years as a participant in the Tree City USA program, the longest association of any military base in the state of Florida. The Arbor Day Foundation and NAS Whiting Field are committed to effective urban forest management, and planting trees is just one way to accomplish that mission.

The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.

“I’d like to thank our public works environmental and resource management team for all their hard work planting and cultivating the trees on Whiting Field,” said Capt. Paul Bowdich, commanding officer, NAS Whiting Field. “The tree we’re planting today will enhance the base for years to come. Thanks in large part to your efforts cultivating trees and plants on the installation, we have one of the most beautiful bases in the Department of Defense.”

NAS Whiting Field achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

Trees are an asset to a community when properly planted and maintained. They improve the visual appeal of neighborhoods, increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, remove air pollutants and provide habitat for wildlife, among many other benefits