NASA “Moon Tree” Finds Forever Home at East Georgia State College

(Photo: East Georgia State College)

After traveling nearly 270,000 miles around the moon, a NASA “Moon Tree” has been planted in its forever home at the Sudie A. Fulford Community Learning Center on the Swainsboro campus of East Georgia State College (EGSC). The planting ceremony was attended by representatives from the Georgia Forestry Commission, Magnolia Midlands Georgia Youth Science & Technology Centers (GYSTC), the EGSC Tree Campus Committee, as well as faculty, staff, and community members.

EGSC, in partnership with Magnolia Midlands GYSTC, is honored to be chosen by NASA to receive one of the tree seedlings that flew around the moon on the agency’s Artemis I mission in 2022. This special selection underscores the college’s commitment to fostering educational opportunities and environmental stewardship.

“We are thrilled to be part of this historic moment,” said Erin Youmans, the Magnolia Midlands GYSTC Regional Coordinator. “The planting of the Moon Tree at EGSC presents a unique opportunity for the college and surrounding community to observe and learn from this living piece of space history, celebrating its growth for generations to come.”

The Artemis I Moon Trees embarked on a remarkable journey, traveling 270,000 miles from Earth aboard the Orion spacecraft. These seedlings represent a diverse array of tree species, including sycamores, sweetgums, Douglas firs, loblolly pines, and giant sequoias. The trees are part of a broader initiative to inspire communities and enhance environmental education.

Youmans worked with representatives from EGSC to complete an application process to receive one of the seedlings. NASA selected institutions based on their ability to care for the tree species and to integrate the trees into educational programs. Hundreds of applications were meticulously reviewed to ensure that each selected institution could provide a nurturing environment for these extraordinary seedlings. Notifications to selected institutions are being made in phases, beginning this spring, and continuing through fall 2025.

“We are so excited for this addition to the Fulford Center,” stated Malanie Freeman, the coordinator of the Fulford Center. “We look forward to the Moon Tree’s ability to assist us in continuing to offer various educational opportunities to our community and surrounding area!”

The legacy of the Artemis I Moon Trees is rooted in the original Moon Trees, which were flown by NASA astronaut Stuart Roosa during the Apollo 14 mission. This initiative continues to celebrate the spirit of exploration and discovery, bringing the wonders of space closer to communities across the United States.

An official ceremony to commemorate the planting of the Moon Tree at East Georgia State College will be announced at a later date.

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