April 20, 2009

Apollo 14 Legacy Continues With Earth Day Tree Planting

Media representatives are invited to join NASA, the National Arboretum and American Forests to celebrate Earth Day and the 40th anniversary of the first Apollo moon landing with a tree planting ceremony April 22 at the National Arboretum, 3501 New York Avenue N.E., Washington. The planting ceremony begins at 1 p.m. EDT.

NASA astronaut Stuart Roosa had been a U.S. Forest Service smoke jumper. During the Apollo 14 mission to the moon in 1971, he took along tree seeds from a Loblolly pine, sycamore, sweet gum, redwood, and Douglas fir. After returning to Earth, the U.S. Forest Service germinated these seeds, which grew into first-generation "moon trees."

The moon trees have been planted throughout the United States, but the sycamore is the first to be planted at the National Arboretum. American Forests, the nation's oldest conservation organization, continues the legacy of this Apollo-era program by maintaining second-generation moon trees and making them available through its Historic Trees Program.

Reporters planning to attend the event should contact Susan Burgess at 202-245-4565 or [email protected]da.gov by April 21.

For a comprehensive listing of NASA's Earth Day activities, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/earthday

For directions to the event and more information about the National Arboretum, visit: http://www.usna.usda.gov