I suggest a federal government program allotment that goes to buying inexpensive, drought-resistant trees, to be planted on government agency property, to recognize organizational achievements, awards, and other important events.
Russian and U.S. space programs often plant trees to commemorate special events, such as space launches. Trees have a lot of advantages, in addition to their ability to reduce carbon footprint by absorbing carbon dioxide. Some best known tree attributes include their pleasing appearance and their ability to produce oxygen. However, lesser known facets of trees include their ability to reduce air and noise pollution, provide homes for wildlife, help reduce local urban “heat islands”, and reduce facility energy usage if planted to shade buildings.
One recommended new tradition of government agencies might be to plant trees along a dedicated walk. This “walk of fame” could provide a showcase, including small, inexpensive “tree plaques” commemorating that agency’s achievements and memorializing those great contributors that have left us. In addition, such a walk would shade pedestrians along these paths and possibly provide a park-like refuge for lunches and other activities.
One additional advantage of increased tree planting might include a “shot in the arm” to tree nurseries, many hurting from reduced tree orders resultant of the slumping housing market.
To quote an old Chinese proverb, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the next best time is now.