Every year, people around the world celebrate Arbor Day, an international holiday dedicated to planting and honoring trees. This year, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Felipe Fuentes joined City Plants in hosting Los Angeles’ own Arbor Day celebration in Sylmar, and it was a smashing success!
April 25, 2015 was a cold and cloudy Saturday, but that didn’t deter Angelinos from participating in the biggest Arbor Day celebration Los Angeles has seen yet! An amazing crew of over 160 volunteers joined Mayor Garcetti and Councilmember Fuentes in planting 92 drought resilient trees around Olive Vista Middle School to honor the occasion. The LA Bureau of Sanitation made it possible to ring the perimeter of the school with trees by providing funds to cut new tree wells through one of its transportation grants, which offsets the impact of traffic. The new tree wells removed nearly 2,000 square feet of concrete, and will help stormwater infiltrate into the ground, which is particularly important in the Valley, as it has has good soil and a large aquifer.
Mayor Garcetti reminded Angelinos of the Save the Drop campaign, encouraging us to conserve water during the drought, and spoke of the many environmental benefits of tree planting. He pointed out that planting new, drought tolerant trees are an excellent response to the drought, as they need only the amount of water used in a 5-minute shower each week, whereas the average lawn uses all the water used in the average home each week. Thanks to the generosity of Councilmember Felipe Fuentes, the trees will be watered by Sylmar Graffiti Busters during the establishment period.
After various shade tree species were planted—including African Fern Pines and Australian Willows—families and volunteers celebrated this international holiday across the street at Sylmar Rec Center with delicious food provided by Mission Hills Nissan, as well as tree climbing with LA Rec & Parks, carnival games, face painting, and environmental education workshops by various community organizations. The LA Department of Water & Power brought in its solar trailer to power a bounce house and party tunes by Afterburn Productions. City Plants also hosted a tree adoption following the planting, and a total of 50 fruit trees and 150 shade trees were given away to new homes!
Special thanks to our sponsor, Blue Shield of California, as well as Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilmember Felipe Fuentes, Olive Vista Middle School, The LA Department of Water & Power, LA Bureau of Sanitation, and the LA Department of Rec & Parks for hosting the event in conjunction with our planting partners: Los Angeles Conservation Corps, North East Trees, Tree People, Koreatown Youth & Community Center, and Fuego Tech Fire Rangers. The event was a major success, and we look forward to next year’s Arbor Day celebration.
Hope to see you in 2016!
Check out the video and pictures below (Photo credit: Tree People; Video credit: The Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti)
Afterburn Productions donated its services to City Plants to support Arbor Day. They can be reached at 310-308-6946.