BERKELEY - A coast redwood tree grown from a seed that made the trip to the moon with astronaut Maj. Stuart A. Roosa on Apollo 14 will be planted in Tilden Park tomorrow.
The redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), which has grown almost 4 feet tall at the U.S. Forest Service's nursery at Placerville since its moon trip five years ago, will be dedicated to the people of the Eastbay.
The young tree will be located near the main entrance to Regional Park District's Environmental Education Center.
Participating in the "moon tree" planting, and unveiling of a bronze dedication plaque at 10 a.m., will be officials of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the U.S. Forest Service, the state departments of conservation and of parks and recreation and the Society of American Foresters.
Accepting the unusual gift will be representatives of Alameda and Contra Costa counties and the regional park district.
The tree seeds were carried to the moon and back in a tiny container by Air Force astronaut Maj. Roosa, the command module pilot of Apollo 14. Maj. Roosa played the "moon tree" role because he had once been a smokejumper fighting forest fires and was interested in the preservation of our forests.
The container of seeds circled the moon for 33 hours and 31 minutes, while astronauts Alan B. Shepard Jr. and Edgar D. Mitchell made the moon landing and carried out spectacular experiments witnessed via television on earth.
The "moon tree" planting site is located in the northwest area of Tilden Park, north of the intersection of Canyon [Canon] Drive and Central Park Drive. A picnic lunch for participants will follow the planting and dedication.
From the Oakland Tribune Sun. July 25, 1976
First tree and statue photographs courtesy of Erica Botkin,
other photographs courtesy Adam Stiffler.
Article credit Oakland Tribune