Ceremony Today Brings Attention To Potter County ‘Moon Tree’

From Potter County Today

moontreecoverPotter County’s “moon tree” will receive special attention from a host of inidividuals today (Friday, April 29) during a dedication ceremony at the foot of the tree in a grove at Coudersport Area Recreation Park. The brief program starts at 1 pm and is open to the public. In the event of rain, it will be held at the park pavilion.

Today is also Arbor Day, a national holiday designed to reinforce the importance of trees to the environment, the economy and our way of life. Additionally, today’s ceremony marks the 40th anniversary of the special tree’s return to earth after traveling to the moon aboard Apollo 14. When that NASA spacecraft blasted off on Jan. 31, 1971, astronaut Stuart Roosa brought along a canister of seeds to determine if being in the weightlessness of space would cause them to grow differently. These seeds were later germinated, analyzed, and given out to dozens of communities in 1976 during the country’s bicentennial celebration. Few who pass the sycamore tree at CARP are aware of its significance. NASA’s Dr. David Williams said that’s not uncommon. The whereabouts of most of the trees — redwood, Douglas fir, sycamore, sweet gum and loblolly pine — remain unknown to NASA and he’s eager to find them. Dr. Williams believes that, with DNA analysis technology now available, it’s time to re-examine the trees to determine the long-term effects of space on botanical specimens’ genetic structure.

Coudersport Area Lions Club is partnering with the U.S. Congress, Coudersport Borough, the Potter County Board of Commissioners, the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry, the Potter County Conservation District and others for a dedication ceremony that will bring long-overdue attention to the special tree. It was rescued by Carol Patterson, who operated a nursery near Colesburg. It stands about 35 feet tall and is located next to the Allegheny River near the park caretaker’s mobile home.


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

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One Comment

  1. essie says:

    How wonderful to have a genuine Moon Tree at CARP!

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