Seated on the grass, students and their parents watch as CalFIRE's Lynnette Short demonstrates how to
plant a tree, while Principal Quiroz and Mayor Jackson look on
For the opening ceremony of TreeSD’s Tree Advantage kick-off event in Imperial Valley, 450 students listened to their dynamic principal, Jeannette Quiroz, describe her vision for the ground on which they sat: Sunflower Urban Forest, they plan to call it. Their families will be able to join them for lunch in the shade of the broadleaf evergreen sissoo trees, also known as Dalbergia sissoo or Indian rosewood trees. When the students grow up, they can come back and see their mature forest. But first they would have to plant the trees, 15 for the “forest” and 10 spread throughout the El Centro campus of Sunflower Elementary School.
The morning of November 18th was sunny and breezy. The assembly was honored by the presence of El Centro’s Mayor Jason Jackson, who spoke to the students, parents and volunteers urging especially the children to plant and care for trees, saying, “Whoever plants trees, plants hope.” TreeSD’s Laurie Broedling explained that trees give us the oxygen we breathe, and we must carefully choose the right trees so they will survive where we plant them. She then presented the school with a copy of her favorite Dr. Seuss book, The Lorax, with its message of taking care of trees.
Trees await planting while the students watch CalFIRE's Lynnette Short demonstrate how it should be done.
Next CalFIRE’s Southern Region Urban Forester, Lynnette Short, gave a tree-planting demonstration with assistance from four student volunteers. Then she turned to the watching student body and asked, “You guys wanna plant some trees?” The students, who had been learning about trees and awaiting this day for a month, resounded with “YEAH!” Principal Quiroz, who knew her students all by name, sorted the volunteer tree planters into fourteen groups and directed each group to the tree they would plant. As Laurie Broedling was the leaving at event’s end, one boy lingering to put the finishing touches on his tree’s mulch, looked up at her beaming with delight and said, “Thank you. This is so much fun.” This enthusiasm is the keystone of a healthy urban forest.
The 15 trees planted on 11/18/2016 can be found here.
Funding for this project is provided by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection as part of the California Climate Investments Program. Spearheaded by Tree San Diego in partnership with the City of El Centro, Tree Advantage will benefit the Imperial Valley through planting about 350 trees in public sites.
SUPPORT OUR YOUTH TREE STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM!
Last Chance to Contribute by December 31st:
Crowd Funding for Youth Tree Stewardship
TreeSD and our partners, the Balboa Park Conservancy and One San Diego, will be closing this easy-to-do fund-raiser for our Youth Tree Stewardship Training Program on December 31st. Crowd-funding shows momentum towards a goal. Small donations especially show the support of the community. For this project, the students are from Burbank Elementary School in Logan Heights, a park-poor community, so teaching them useful skills in Balboa Park’s extraordinary setting will be an inspiring experience. Please go to the Parks4Kids webpage to contribute any amount, large or small, to this worthwhile cause.
DID YOU KNOW...
… that the successful high-tech minds of Silicon Valley, names we all know like Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and the late Steve Jobs, are personally familiar with one of the main benefits of trees? It’s true. These industry leaders choose to get away from their offices and take walks in the woods where the trees and their inhabitants don’t compete for their attention like cell phones and employees with questions. Walking through the trees is not only calming and restorative, they say it allows them to focus completely on the problem at hand or the person walking with them, who might be a project collaborator or an employee with a big idea.
TreeSD is honored to be the recipient of two 2016 awards from the San Diego Regional Urban Forest Council:
Trees and Water Award to TreeSD volunteers Cynthia Irmer and Bruce Engelbert for their efforts of innovation involved in the Tree San Diego CALFIRE Tree Advantage Project.
Tree San Diego Awarded "Opening the Outdoors" Grant
The San Diego Foundation has awarded Tree San Diego a grant to support development of our San Diego Junior Tree Steward Certification Program. This grant was made possible by the Opening the Outdoors Initiative and by support from the Colwell Family Fund. The grant has the following goals:
Create educational materials for both classroom and hands-on field settings that provide young people with basic knowledge of tree care
Train approximately 50 junior tree stewards from park-poor communities to become stewards of the trees in their yards and neighborhoods
Provide certification of achievement for a designated set of basic knowledge and skills
Provide older youth interested in arboriculture with training for entry-level urban forestry jobs.
An involved dad holds the tree upright while students shovel in dirt around the tree's root ball
Join TREE SAN DIEGO's Membership Program!
As San Diego County’s urban forestry non-profit partner, we are building the resources to increase our region’s tree canopy. By becoming a member, you, as a private citizen, will be actively helping us to increase the number of trees we can plant as well as expand our choices for locations where we can plant them, reducing the way-too-big gaps in our urban forest.
Click on the Member Badge to join our team!
Volunteer Opportunities at TreeSD
If you would like to volunteer with this dynamic and growing pro-environment nonprofit, please contact Kalli Legakes at email@example.com and introduce yourself. We will work with you to select a task that suits your skills and interests. For specific information about current volunteering possibilities, click here.
Funding for San Diego Tree Advantage Program
has been provided by the California Greenhouse
Gas Reduction Fund through the California
Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
(CAL FIRE) Urban and Community Forestry Program.