Pacifica families planted trees outside Sanchez Library and the Sanchez Art Center in the second annual Pacifica Arbor Day celebration under the auspices of Tree City Pacifica.
Tree City Pacifica is a volunteer group, part of the Arbor Day Foundation, under Tree City USA. To qualify with the national organization, trees must be planted every Arbor Day and the city must have a heritage tree ordinance.
The city of Pacifica provided trees, 31 of them this year, and logistical support. Public Works Department personnel made sure all the holes for the trees were dug before the event. Afterward, they went to each one to put in a stake to attach to the tree to give each one the best chance of survival.
Paul Totah and Gail Benton Shoemaker of Tree City Pacifica addressed the crowd before the plantings, followed by a master gardener demonstrating the details of a good planting. Totah spoke at the Sanchez Art Center site followed by Susan Miller as the master gardener.
“More than 8,300 wildfires have burned 4 million acres of trees in California,” Totah said. “By adding trees to Pacifica, we are helping to clean the air and provide homes for our native fauna. These trees will enrich our homes, our businesses and our lives in many ways.”
Last year, volunteers spread out at the planting sites and formed their own groups to plant trees. This year, because of the pandemic, families and Scout troops stuck together to plant. Families and Scouts planted a total of 28 trees at Sanchez Library and the Sanchez Art Center. Tree City Pacifica volunteers planted three more inside the dog park at Sanchez Art Center.
Volunteers planted 10 trees at the Sanchez Library, including five maple trees. Eagle Scout Cian Eskinazi planted a tree next to a reading nook, table and chairs he built as part of his scouting project. Mayor Deirdre Martin and her family planted a tree. A Brownie troop planted in the back of the library.
At Sanchez Art Center, volunteers planted along Linda Mar Boulevard and by the dog park. Those trees included two kinds of myrtle trees, flowering cherry trees and a southern Magnolia variety. Girl Scouts planted along Linda Mar Boulevard.
The Brenner family, with daughter Zoe, from a Girl Scout troop at Ocean Shore School, said the whole
family of four was excited about being able to drive by Linda Mar Boulevard in years to come and see their tree grow. They said they wanted to do their part to leave a legacy to help the environment.
Of Zoe’s efforts, mom Anna Brenner said, “We will come back to this spot to see the fruits of your labor. We will bring friends and family to pay your tree a visit. There can be no greater feeling than knowing what you’re doing will ripple for decades to come.”
Rowan Thurman, 6, wanted to plant a tree to celebrate his birthday with his family.
“His name means ‘tree of life,’” said his mom, Erica Thurman, who had majored in horticulture in college and knew what variety of tree the family was planting. The family of four with dad, Mark, and sibling Rory, 3, were planting a crepe myrtle.
Along the back of the dog park, Heather Lozano and her son, Harrison, 7, came out to volunteer after reading the initial email about the work of Tree
City Pacifica. They were excited to join the efforts of a worthy cause that will make a difference in the community.