Vallejo Calif.—The United States Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection, and California ReLeaf welcome the support and sponsorship of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Gas, Northrop Grumman, and Edison International to launch the 2019 California Arbor Week Celebration Program. This program supports $75,000 in pass-through grants as well as an art contest for schoolchildren and youth to honor California’s upcoming Arbor Week, March 7-14, 2019. In 2011 by Assembly Resolution, the State extended California Arbor Day to a full week to emphasize how critical trees are to the health and well-being of California’s communities.
A press conference will be held on March 15, 2019, in San Bernardino to honor California Arbor Week and unveil the winners of the annual art contest.
The Forest Service, CAL FIRE, and California ReLeaf welcome the sponsorship of PG&E, Edison International, SDG&E, SoCalGas, and Northrop Grumman in this important annual recognition of the value of trees. The Forest Service actively supports community tree planting in urban areas of California with support for education and pass-through grants.
With the help of the utility companies, this year marks the most Arbor Week grant funding ever with $75,000 in pass-through grants of $1,000 to $2,000 for community groups and nonprofits who wish to make their communities greener, healthier, and stronger with urban trees.
Community groups and non-profit organizations from all over the state submitted grant applications to celebrate California Arbor Week. The grant winners will be announced at the Press Conference on Friday, March 15 at 11a.m. in Bobby Vega Park in San Bernardino. Arbor Week events traditionally engage schoolchildren, parents, and local elected officials with tree planting ceremonies, tree care stewardship, and educational activities.
Also at the press conference, the winners of the 2019 California Arbor Week Art Contest will be announced. The art contest is sponsored by Northrop Grumman.
“Planting trees is a celebration of life and an investment in our children’s future. Especially in California, we must teach our children that trees need ongoing care. Trees need periodic deep watering during our hot, dry summers, so that they can clean and cool the air for us,” said Robert Little, CAL FIRE’s State Urban Forester.
“California Arbor Week honors the wonder and importance of trees in our communities, because trees are absolutely essential to the health of our urban residents – especially in the face of climate change and extreme weather events,” said Cindy Blain, Executive Director of California ReLeaf.
It is very important to plant trees in the right place, so that they provide much-needed shade while avoiding interference with power lines and underground utilities. The utility companies will share information about the importance of carefully selecting the location for planting urban trees to ensure that Californians remain safe when planting trees.
“Increasing the number of trees in our neighborhoods is an important part of Edison’s commitment to combat climate change,” said Caroline Choi, senior vice president, Corporate Affairs for Edison International and Southern California Edison. “Helping green and cool communities supports our shared clean energy goals, enhances energy conservation and benefits our customers in their homes and businesses. Edison International is proud to support California ReLeaf and its mission to preserve, protect and enhance the state’s urban and community forests.”
“SoCalGas & SDG&E are pleased to be partners in the launch of the 2019 California Arbor Week Celebration Program this year,” said Estela de Llanos, Vice President of Operations Support, Sustainability & Chief Environmental Officer at SoCalGas & SDG&E.“ As both utilities diligently work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state of California, we know that trees are a key part of that goal. As part of our strong commitment to both environmental stewardship and fire safety we take a ‘right tree, right place’ approach so as not to disrupt the electric or gas infrastructure while also supporting the planting of new trees.”