BCC Selected as One of 50 Sites Nationwide to Receive Moon Tree Seedling from NASA

  News, Update   •

Moon TreeBronx Community College (BCC) was selected to receive a living piece of spaceflight history to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics: a seedling grown from a tree seed that flew around the Moon on NASA’s Artemis I mission in late 2022. NASA and the USDA Forest Service will distribute the seedlings of five different species to create new ways for communities on Earth to connect with humanity’s exploration of space.  

“We are excited about the arrival of such a wonder, which will inspire students to learn about space, NASA missions, trees, and the environment and create a sense of pride here at BCC,” said BCC’s Art & Music Professor Noelle King, who led the College’s bid for the moon tree and submitted the application. “If a seed from Earth can fly beyond the Moon and return and grow, so can our students reach for the stars and succeed.”

This is the second generation of Moon Trees to be distributed on Earth. In 1971, Apollo 14 Command Module Pilot Stuart Roosa, a former Forest Service smoke jumper, carried hundreds of tree seeds as a part of his personal kit. Following the successful return of Apollo 14, the Forest Service germinated the seeds. The Apollo Moon Tree seedlings were planted around the nation, many as part of the U.S. Bicentennial Celebration in 1976. 

BCC's moon tree“NASA’s Artemis moon trees are bringing the science and ingenuity of space exploration back down to Earth,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said. “Last year, these seeds flew on the Artemis I mission 40,000 miles beyond the Moon. With the help of the USDA, this new generation of Moon trees will plant the spirit of exploration across our communities and inspire the next generation of explorers.” 

The new generation of Moon Trees taking root in American soil will carry on the legacy of inspiration launched more than 50 years ago. The seeds that journeyed 270,000 miles from Earth aboard the Orion spacecraft during Artemis I included sycamores, sweetgums, Douglas-firs, loblolly pines, and giant sequoias. Through the care of the Forest Service, the seeds were germinated and grown into seedlings in preparation for their new roles as Artemis Moon Trees. 

BCC was selected as a site based on criteria that evaluated the College’s ability to care for the American Sycamore and maximize educational opportunities around the life and growth of the tree within the broader Bronx community. This opportunity is made possible through a collaboration between NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement  Next Gen STEM project and the Forest Service 

Where do you want to go now?

Start your search here