Santa Monica’s urban forest will welcome new additions today with the planting of 20 15-gallon trees at Crescent Bay Park to celebrate Arbor Day, which falls, this year, on Earth Day.
The sprightly young trees are drought resistant and are expected to thrive in their new environment. Pacific Wax Myrtle, Australian Tea Trees, Pink Melaleuca and New Zealand Christmas Trees, form the eclectic species mix to be planted.
Together they will become the city’s first “Service Club Tree Grove.” The planting is sponsored by Santa Monica Recreation & Parks Commission with all trees donated by local organizations.
“We never plant trees for ourselves,” said Santa Monica Recreation & Parks Commission Chair Phil Brock. “We plant them because we’re optimistic about the future and want coming generations of children, teens, adults and seniors to enjoy the shade and beauty of an improved urban forest.”
There are over 33,400 trees in Santa Monica’s Urban Forest, according to the City.
“If you laid them out end to end, they would stretch from the Santa Monica Pier all the way to Palm Springs,” the City stated.
Santa Monica’s trees are worth $141 million by their replacement value alone, the City said. “When environmental benefits are also considered, the Santa Monica urban forest is worth $300 million. These benefits include valuable energy savings through shading, air filtration, reduction of stormwater runoff, and carbon sequestration.”
Tree donations for today’s planting come from: Kiwanis Club Of Santa Monica – eight trees, Santa Monica Bay Women’s Club – four trees, Lions Club Of Santa Monica – two trees, Santa Monica Breakfast Club – two trees, Santa Monica Jaycees – two trees, Lions Club member Gail Litvak – one tree, Lions Club member Anna Vastano – one tree.
All of the clubs will “get down and dirty,” assisting in the planting, explained Kiwanis Club of Santa Monica President Jessica Handy.
“Using the power of our numbers and a little effort with a few shovels, we can do amazing things,” she said.
The tree planting will take place at Crescent Bay Park, 2000 Ocean Avenue, today, April 22, from 3-5pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.
At 6pm, Tree Hugging Day will be celebrated in Palisades Park at the Children’s Tree of Life, located at Ocean Ave. and Colorado, just north of the Santa Monica Pier.
The event promises guest speakers, songs, and poetry, with actress, activist and former star of “Baywatch,” Alexandra Paul getting amongst the tree-hugging action. Organizer Jerry Rubin was hit by a car while crossing the street on his way home from his renowned “bumper-sticker table” Saturday night, sending wishes for everyone to attend while he is on the mend. His wife Marissa will oversee the event.
“In the meantime let me wish everyone a happy, healthy and peaceful Earth Day!” Jerry Rubin said.
The Children’s Tree of Life was planted at an Earth Day peace celebration on April 22, and has recently been nominated to be a Heritage Tree by the Santa Monica Urban Forest Task Force.