Santa Clarita named ‘Tree City USA’ for 29th consecutive year

Mayor Marsha McLean receives a plaque from David Haas, with Cal Fire, for the city of Santa Clarita's recognition as 'Tree City USA' for the 29th year in a row from the Arbor Day Foundation on Tuesday, April 23. Tammy Murga/ The Signal

In celebration of the holiday that’s all about trees, the Arbor Day Foundation recently named Santa Clarita a “Tree City USA” for the 29th year in a row.

The city received a plaque during the City Council meeting Tuesday from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection for continuing to be a tree-friendly area.

“We are pleased to announce that the city of Santa Clarita has been named a ‘Tree City USA’ for the 29th consecutive year,” said Mayor Marsha McLean. “The city of Santa Clarita hereby proclaims April 26, 2019, as Arbor Day, and we encourage you to celebrate by planting trees and by coming to the Earth Arbor Day festival this weekend.”

Arbor Day, observed on different dates across the world, is a holiday that encourages people to plant and care for trees, as well as celebrate the importance of doing so. The USDA Forest Service said that planting trees “means improved water quality, resulting in less runoff and erosion. This allows more recharging of the groundwater supply. Wooded areas help prevent the transport of sediment and chemicals into streams.”

In Santa Clarita, the city’s special districts operation maintains an urban forest encompassing more than 134,000 trees, which “(continues) to enhance our quality of life, clean our air and preserve our landscape,” said McLean.

David Haas, from Cal Fire, presented the plaque to the city on behalf of the Arbor Day Foundation, and said that since 1990, the city “has shown its commitment to restoring, enhancing and maintaining your community urban forest by meeting or exceeding these standards.”

Among those standards includes having a tree care ordinance and a tree budget ordinance of at least $2 per capita.

Lauren Weyers, program coordinator with Arbor Day Foundation, said, “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. The Arbor Day Foundation is proud to be able to continually recognize Santa Clarita for all their great urban forestry work.”

The city’s Earth Arbor Day event is scheduled Saturday, April 27, and attendees will have a chance to reduce, reuse and recycle through various eco-friendly activities. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Central Park, 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road.

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