Gough Park Moon Tree

Silver City, New Mexico

[Moon Tree Article] [Moon Tree Article]

A sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) was dedicated on August 15, 1976 in Gough Park in Silver City, New Mexico. Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison "Jack" Schmitt, a Silver City native, took part in the ceremony. The 8-inch tall sycamore seedling was presented by Jim Brown, Deputy District Forester. The MC was Jim Elliot, Chamber of Commerce Manager, and Schmitt and Mayor Pro-tem John Lopez accepted the seedling on behalf of the city. After the ceremony the seedling was taken to the Native Plant Nursery in Ft. Bayard, where it was to be kept until it reached sufficient size to be planted in Gough Park.

It is not known with certainty that the seedling was finally planted in Gough Park or that it survived. There is one sycamore in the park, but no way of knowing if this is the Moon Tree.

New Mexico apparently received five Moon Trees in 1976, two Douglas firs and three sycamores. A 28-inch Douglas fir seedling was planted April 7 in the Civic Plaza in Albuquerque. The other Douglas fir, of about the same size, was planted on the state capitol grounds on 22 July. A sycamore was planted in Smokey Bear State Park on May 15, 1976. Another sycamore was planted at the International Space Hall of Fame in Alamogordo on October 5. The location of the other sycamore is in Silver City, New Mexico, planted August 15 in Gough Park. The sycamores in Alamogordo and Smokey Bear State Park are known to have died, as has the Douglas fir in Albuquerque. The status of the other two trees in not definitively known. For more information, see the individual tree pages and Moon Trees in New Mexico from the New Mexico State Records Center and Archive.

News clipping credit Silver City Daily Press and newspapers.com

'Moon Tree' Dedication Here Sunday - Silver City Daily Press, 14 August 1976
Are New Mexico's moon trees still alive? - KOAT 7 News, 19 July 2019
New Mexico's 'moon trees' planted after Apollo 14 are lost - AP News, 23 July 2019
Visit Silver City - See The Moon - Grant County Beat, 26 October 2022
Moon Trees in New Mexico - New Mexico State Records Center and Archives

Other New Mexico Moon Trees

Alamogordo - International Space Hall of Fame
Albuquerque - Civic Center
Capitan - Smokey Bear Park
Santa Fe - Capitol Building

Moon Tree Home Page

Dr. David R. Williams, dave.williams@nasa.gov
NSSDCA, Mail Code 690.1
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771

NASA Official: Dave Williams, david.r.williams@nasa.gov
Last Updated: 16 June 2023, DRW