Arbor Day Provides Backdrop For ‘Moon Tree’ Ceremony

From Potter County Today

moonlion2Potter County’s “moon tree” took on celebrity status Friday afternoon during a brief ceremony to dedicate the special sycamore and observe the 40th anniversary of the NASA moon mission that brought it from outer space to Coudersport Area Recreation Park. Fittingly, the ceremony was held on Arbor Day, which afforded some of the speakers a chance to remind the approximately 60 people attending about the importance of trees to the environment, the economy and our way of life. The tree grew from a seed that was carried to the moon on Apollo 14 in 1971. Scientists wanted to assess whether the weightlessness of space would cause the seeds to grow differently. They were later germinated, analyzed, and given out to dozens of communities in 1976 during the country’s bicentennial celebration.

Coudersport Area Lions Club partnered with the U.S. Congress, Coudersport Borough, Potter County Board of Commissioners, Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry and the Potter County Conservation District and Friday’s dedication ceremony. Several of the speakers paid special tribute to Carol Patterson, who operated a nursery near Colesburg and nursed the sickly seedling back to health after Robert P. Lewis, Susquehanock District Forester at the time, was able to obtain the tree from NASA for presentation to Potter County. Lions Club spokesman Lou Karija, shown with Mrs. Patterson, said the organization will mount the plaque he’s holding at the base of the special tree and perform landscaping work to make the area more aesthetically appealing.

Potter County Today is a timely information site courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners. Reprinted with Permission.

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