California American Water’s San Diego District hosted a tree planting event in conjunction with the City of Imperial Beach, The Water Conservation Garden/Cuyamaca College, and Oneonta Elementary School. It was the last event to conclude the second annual San Diego Tree Week, which Janelle Wallace, Director of Development and Membership for The Water Conservation Garden expressed has been “gaining momentum.”
California American funded ten trees that were planted in the right-of-way parkway (the section between the curb and sidewalk) on 10th Street and Holly Avenue in Imperial Beach (IB) . The species ranged from Australian Willow, Bay Laurel, Crape Myrtle, and Flowering Plum Trees. Brian A. Barreto, California American External Affairs Manager for Southern California, and Erika Cortez-Martinez, Administrator Officer for the City of Imperial Beach, explained this is the first hosted tree planting event in partnership with The Water Conservation Garden.
Fifteen Oneonta Elementary School students, who are a part of the leadership program Lighthouse, were welcomed by IB Councilmember’s McKay and Seabury. Imperial Beach city planner Reyna Alaya, who helped coordinate the event, informed the students where the stations were, in addition to the tools, snacks and supervision provided.
During his opening remarks, Councilmember McKay proclaimed “We are here to honor tree week, so that’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to plant some trees! We talked about how important trees are for our environment. We live in our environment so we have to take care of it.”
The Water Conservation Garden Director of Education, Miss Smarty-Plants (Pam Meisner) prepared a demonstration for the students and presentation on tree care/maintenance. Together, they learned each step on how to plant their trees and discussed the environmental impacts trees have in our world. After the Flowering Plum was successfully in the ground and watered by city employees, they decided to name it, “The Giving Tree,” inspired by the title of Shel Silverstein’s children’s book.
IB city employees and California American Water employees worked side-by-side with the students as they broke off into groups at each station.
When asked about the motivations for San Diego Tree Week, Wallace expounded on the San Diego Climate Action Plan’s goal to plant 10,000 trees. She asserted, “Supervisor Vargas recently announced to the county, which was planning on planting 4,000 trees, she said we all have to come together as a community to plant these trees, so upped it to ten. We are really excited about that and with our partnership with parks and recreation to do more. The motivation was not just planting trees, but the right trees and in the right places. Specifically, planting drought tolerant trees, because conservation is the core to our mission.”
Last year, over 200 trees were planted for San Diego Tree Week. This year, a survey is still taking place with the 40 teams that participated.
San Diego Tree Week – The Water Conservation Garden