March 13, 2023 /
Vince Drader

Tree Planting at The Armed Forces Retirement Home

Over the past 20 years, we’ve worked closely with the Armed Forces Retirement Home to plant and care for many new trees on the property. In fact, Casey Trees has planted several hundred trees on the property, with plans to plant more in the future.

Last Saturday, we had the pleasure of adding 50 new trees to the Armed Forces Retirement Home campus, bringing our planting total to over 500 trees at the site. Though it started out cold and windy, volunteers were eager and brought their energy to get started! It was a lovely day for volunteers to come out and establish young trees and help provide shade to the home for years to come.

In attendance at the planting was Armed Forces Retirement Home volunteer and previous Canopy Awards recipient, Carol Herwig. Carol has led much of the outreach to plant trees on the site, as well as plant trees throughout DC, as a citizen forester. She is responsible for hundreds, if not thousands of trees planted in the District, and thus, was awarded our Award for Partnership at the 2015 Canopy Awards. With Carol’s hard work over the years, the site has become known for it’s many gorgeous white oaks, maples, and flowering cherries, among other species.

“I love how these plantings connect people to each site where they volunteer” says Carol, “especially because this work allows you to get to see places you might not otherwise get to go to, especially one that is generally closed to the public like this”. Carol also enjoys coming back the next day after a planting when everyone is gone, getting to see all the new trees, and spend time with them herself.

Carol says the trees at the Armed Forces Retirement Home are especially impactful because of the concept of the “park prescription” and how it’s becoming more common to know the benefits of green spaces, that even just seeing green spaces and trees helps us heal, live longer, and improve mental health.

Thus, this planting highlights another reason for this great partnership, as studies have shown that spending time outside near trees can provide a number of health benefits for all, including senior citizens. Trees provide shade, which can help reduce the risk of skin cancer, and spending time in nature can reduce stress and anxiety levels. Trees also help filter the air, which can help reduce the risk of respiratory illnesses like asthma and bronchitis.

Additionally, spending time in nature can help promote physical activity, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease and improve overall physical fitness. Not to mention, spending time outdoors can promote mental wellbeing, as it can be a great form of relaxation and calming activity. All of these benefits are crucial to helping senior citizens stay healthy and active.

The Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) is the nation’s premier life community for retired and former members of America’s armed forces and their spouses. The home offers a vibrant lifestyle at two distinctly different campuses surrounded by rich history, arts and cultural venues, educational opportunities, natural beauty, and recreational amenities.