Residents encouraged to make Santa Clarita greener

Santa Clarita Metrolink Station has a new electric vehicle charging facility, the eighth installation by the city. Mayor Marsha McLean (middle) introduces the new addition at a ribbon cutting recently. Tammy Murga/The Signal
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With the spring season right around the corner, the city of Santa Clarita is encouraging residents to get involved in efforts to make the area greener.

Members of the community will have an opportunity to learn more about how to protect the environment at the annual Earth Arbor Day celebration, which is scheduled for April 27 at Central Park. The fair-like event will include the “cArt aRt” contest and the 10th annual Home and Garden Show.

Making Santa Clarita a green-focused location will need the help of its residents, but since its inception, the city has initiated a series of green-energy alternatives, where its “dedication is demonstrated in some impressive statistics,” according to officials in a news release Monday.

Santa Clarita has received numerous recognitions as “one of the best” cities in the nation for multiple categories, among them, being named “Tree City USA” by the National Arbor Day Foundation.

“Santa Clarita has been recognized as a ‘Tree City USA’ for the past 29 years,” said Lauren Weyers, program coordinator with Arbor Day Foundation. “By having an urban forestry program, Santa Clarita is benefiting from reduced costs for energy, stormwater management, and erosion control, as well as a boost in property values.”

Besides beautifying communities, city staff maintains more than 134,000 trees to help reduce greenhouse gases, improve air quality and provide shade and habitat. Environmentally friendly equipment, such as new electric battery machinery to maintain the city’s 34 parks, is also used.

“The city works tirelessly to meet the needs of parks maintenance operations while protecting the environment,” Parks Manager Susan Nelson said in a statement. “We do this by researching battery-operated equipment, converting to LED lighting, using green sealed certified janitorial products and even biodegradable dog waste bags.”

When it comes to debris, more than 91 percent of construction and demolition waste has been recycled, totaling more than 106,000 tons of reusable materials since 2005, according to the city’s environmental site, greensantaclarita.com.

The city has turned to smart technology to improve its water conservation and waste reduction, among other things.

In 2007, Santa Clarita started to transition its irrigation controls from timed control to an online management system. Approximately 35 percent of its irrigation controls, by 2010, were replaced with new internet-based controllers, which helps utilize only the amount of water necessary through real-time weather data and landscape-specific conditions. More than 2 billion gallons of water have been saved since 2010, according to the city.

Also around that time, Santa Clarita started installing solar-powered Bigbelly smart waste and recycling stations. A total of 118 stations, each of which can hold 150 gallons of material, are now placed across multiple public areas including parks, libraries, bus stops and Metrolink stations.

The addition of electric vehicle charging stations citywide is among Santa Clarita’s most recent efforts. Santa Clarita now has 24 stations and more are underway within the next few months, according to city staff reports.

For a complete list of green events and programs in Santa Clarita, visit greensantaclarita.com or visit the Green Santa Clarita Facebook page for green tips and updates.

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