On Tuesday, May 18, the City of Santa Paula held a belated Arbor Day celebration with the ceremonious planting of seven donated trees in Ebell Park to symbolize the City’s commitment to creating a greener future. Santa Paulans will be able to witness these beautiful trees grow and flourish in the coming years thanks to the Santa Paula Theater, Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce, Palazzio Event Center, America in Bloom and community members Leslie and John Nichols, who sponsored the tree planting.
While the event included remarks from Santa Paula Mayor Carlos Juarez, Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Vanessa Olmos, tree sponsors and City staff, the spotlight fell to local Santa Paula High School student Diana Aguilar. Aguilar is a member of the Future Farmers of America program, which is dedicated to the pursuit of agricultural science. She shared an Arbor Day-themed poem, sharing her passion for trees by expressing “They need water, soil, space and light. We give them those things day and night. So today we all say hurray. For the trees’ special which is called ‘Arbor Day.’”
“Beyond adding to our City’s current tree population, this event brought City leaders together to renew our commitment to sustainability and environmentalism,” said City Manager Dan Singer. “The City Council has made a commitment to adopting tree replacement goals and new tree plantings, ultimately moving the City closer towards the goal of minimizing the community’s environmental footprint.”
In addition to the seven trees planted on Tuesday, the City of Santa Paula will be planting four more trees this week. All the trees were selected by Parks and Recreation staff in coordination with Arborist Gerry Garcia of International Environmental Corporation to ensure that each planted tree would thrive in and benefit in its new environment.
“Santa Paulans have seen the damaging effect of climate change impact to the community first hand through longer wildfire seasons and continued extreme weather,” said Parks and Recreation Director Greg Barnes. “While these newly planted trees cannot directly fix this global phenomenon, I hope residents will see these trees and know how committed the City is to maintaining our environment for future generations.”
Arbor Day usually takes place on the last Friday in April, however, the City moved forward with its celebrations this month after the Santa Paula City Council passed a proclamation for the celebration of Arbor Day on May 5th. Arbor Day was first celebrated in Nebraska in 1872, but quickly spread to all fifty states to recognize the importance of trees. Not only do trees benefit the environment by reducing the erosion, water pollution, moderating temperature and cleaning the air, but they are beneficial to communities economically and socially. Trees can also contribute to the increase of property values, beautification of the community and the general improvement of our community’s physical and mental health.