Robins gives back during Earth Day-related activities

John Hyde, 78th Civil Engineering Group environmental community planner, and Esther Lee-Altman, Robins Installation Support Team, bag leaves as part of the Bryant Cemetery clean up, April 20, 2016 . (U.S. Air Force photo by Tommie Horton)

John Hyde, 78th Civil Engineering Group environmental community planner, and Esther Lee-Altman, Robins Installation Support Team, bag leaves as part of the Bryant Cemetery clean up, April 20, 2016 . (U.S. Air Force photo by Tommie Horton)

Senior Airman Will Jenkins, 116th Air Control Wing maintenance squadron, helps with the Bryant Cemetery clean up, April 20, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tommie Horton)

Senior Airman Will Jenkins, 116th Air Control Wing maintenance squadron, helps with the Bryant Cemetery clean up, April 20, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tommie Horton)

Jacob Tuttle 78th Civil Engineering Group natural and cultural resources program manager, helps Krista Mott, 78th Civil Engineering Group Geographic Information System specialist, plant the Flowering Dogwood dedicated in her honor Wednesday during the Arbor Day Ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tommie Horton)

Jacob Tuttle 78th Civil Engineering Group natural and cultural resources program manager, helps Krista Mott, 78th Civil Engineering Group Geographic Information System specialist, plant the Flowering Dogwood dedicated in her honor Wednesday during the Arbor Day Ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tommie Horton)

Jacob Tuttle, Natural Cultural Resource manager right) and Darquelle Gooch, Georgia Southern University Biology pre-medical student, clean-up the bank of Scout Lake, April 15, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Misuzu Allen)

Jacob Tuttle, Natural Cultural Resource manager right) and Darquelle Gooch, Georgia Southern University Biology pre-medical student, clean-up the bank of Scout Lake, April 15, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo by Misuzu Allen)

Airman 1st Class James Harris, 116th Aviation resource management, picks up trash during the Scout and Luna Lakes clean up day, April 15. (U.S. Air Force photo by Misuzu Allen)

Airman 1st Class James Harris, 116th Aviation resource management, picks up trash during the Scout and Luna Lakes clean up day, April 15. (U.S. Air Force photo by Misuzu Allen)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Robins has long been a steward of the environment encouraging conservation through annual cleanups, recycling drives and various educational activities.

One of the base's environmental claims to fame is its designation as a Tree City USA for the past 23 years.

Looking around the parade field, trees of all sizes attest to the dedication of that title.

This year a Flowering Dogwood, Cornus florida, was planted in recognition of someone who has spent 16 years dedicating herself to the 78th Environmental Management Branch.

Krista Mott, branch geographical information systems specialist, was humbled by the tribute.

"I was very surprised but honored," she said.

Mott was instrumental in organizing many Arbor Day and Earth Day activities in the past.

"She is a genuine tree hugger," said Craig Henry, Air Force Civil Engineer Center program manager.

In past years, Mott has taken part in bird watching, lake cleanups and team canoe trips.

About two dozen people attended the ceremony at the parade field.

Wendy Burnett, Georgia Forestry Commission public relations director, presented the award to the base to recognize the efforts of those who have taken pride in making sure the trees, not only at the dedication grounds, were well taken care of.

To celebrate both Arbor Day and Earth Day, the ceremony concluded with the planting of the tree.

Mott grabbed a shovel, filled it with dirt and threw the dirt on the tree which will bear her name.

"I've worked in environmental management since 2000," she said. "We were the stewards of the environment, so planting a tree symbolizes everything I worked for."

As part of the Earth Day theme, Team Robins members also recently left their work areas to help clean up the local environment.

The tasks included two local cemetery cleanups as well as Scout and Duck lakes.