PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – National Public Lands Day was celebrated around the country yesterday with volunteer projects to clean up and care for our national public lands, including those here in Philadelphia.
National Parks Service crews cut down a dead sycamore in Washington Square park, but it wasn’t just any tree. It went up as a seedling onboard Apollo XIV with astronaut Stuart Roosa in 1971 and planted in the park by Roosa for the bicentennial.
His son, Retired Marine Colonel Christopher Roosa, was at a ceremonial planting of a rooted cutting of the original “Moon Tree,” which was put in the ground close to the one his dad helped plant.
“My Father passed away in 1994 and he had always been so proud of this tree and what all they were able to accomplish in the Apollo program. And now, when I come back, I’ll be able to show my children, ‘Hey this is the tree that I planted and where your grandfather planted a tree, so this will always have a place in my heart.”
The stump of the Moon Tree will remain. It’s trunk will be turned into signs and plaques to be used by the parks service on its grounds.
Reported by John McDevitt, KYW Newsradio 1060