Green House Gas Tree Planting ProjectSanta Monica’s community forest has a role to play in reducing levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere. However, past tree planting projects have been undertaken with uncertainty regarding their performance and permanence. The Center for Urban Forest Research (US Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station) has developed protocols for reporting on greenhouse gases which will reduce the uncertainty of tree planting projects by providing a standard set of guidelines for use throughout the US. The Urban Forest Project Reporting Protocol was adopted by the California Climate Action Registry which provides a standard set of guidelines for use throughout the United States.Santa Monica has been selected by The Center for Urban Forest Research to participate in the country’s first Green House Gas Tree Planting Project. This project involves planting 1,000 new trees throughout the City which will be monitored by City staff with growth data being provided to the Center for Urban Forest Research. This project will ultimately bring the City of Santa Monica closer towards generating reliable information on its efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.Students and faculty from The Art Institute of California – Los Angeles will be planting the first of these GHG trees in the 1400 & 1500 blocks of Washington Avenue and Clover Park. This event will take place on Monday and Tuesday April 20th & 21st and will last all day. In addition to the tree planting on Washington Avenue, the City and volunteers from the Art Institute will be conducting its annual Arbor Day tree planting ceremony in the 3200 block of Ocean Avenue which is near the Art Institute’s 31st Street campus. This event will take place on April 22nd, beginning at 11:30AM and ending at 12:30PM.* * * *Beginning of a Master PlanApril 28 will be the first meeting of the “Master Plan” for Santa Monica trees and the introduction of the Long Range Master Task Force. The LRMTF is responsible for researching and introducing trees into Santa Monica for the future.Currently there are approximately 33,800 trees in the City of Santa Monica. A handful of these trees will run their course and not function properly in the near future. The LRMTF will study which trees produce the most oxygen and are best suited for serving a purpose in Santa Monica while also weighing in on the aesthetics of the tree itself.The Master Plan will address the top 15 species of trees we have here in the city and decide what other species can be introduced that would increase our diversity and protect us from any natural loss of certain species of trees. As mentioned above, April 28, there will be a public meeting with the LRMTF to discuss policies for implementation of future trees. The public is encouraged to come and be active in the discussion. Walt Warriner is the Community Forester and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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