Arbor Day: City Council plants tree at Central Park

City of Santa Clarita Urban Forestry Administrator Valerie Ferchaw, left, and Mayor Pro Tem Bill Miranda and members of the City Council plant a crepe myrtle tree during a virtual celebration for Earth Arbor Day, and for the city being recognized for the 30th year as a Tree City USA at Central Park, near the dog park in Saugus on Friday, April 24, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal
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With face masks and gloves on, the Santa Clarita City Council observed Arbor Day a little differently this year.

The eco-friendly event, canceled for public attendance this year due to the COVID-19 crisis, was live-streamed to invite the community in observing the national event, which promotes the care and planting of trees. 

Council members gathered at Central Park to plant a tree and celebrate the city’s 30th recognition as a “Tree City USA” by the Arbor Day Foundation.  

“Although we cannot be together this year, we are excited that all of you are joining us virtually for this tree-planting tradition,” said Bill Miranda, Santa Clarita mayor pro-tem, during the live city broadcast on Friday morning. 

City of Santa Clarita Council members from left, Marsha McLean, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Miranda, Bob Kellar and Laurene Weste finish up as they plant a crape myrtle tree during a virtual celebration of Earth Arbor Day, and for the 30th year of the city being recognized as a Tree City USA at Central Park, near the dog park in Saugus on Friday, April 24, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

Every year, the city hosts its Earth Arbor Day Festival to celebrate National Arbor Day, where

attendees participate in planting a dozen trees at Central Park, but with the coronavirus crisis and safety measures requiring residents to stay home and practice physical distancing when outside, the city event was canceled.

Though unable to invite the community to join them on Arbor Day, the city is set to send sunflower seeds to the first 20 residents who reached out via social media or mail, Miranda said. 

Since 2019, Santa Clarita has maintained more than 134,000 trees and continues to plant more trees. 

“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,” Lauren Weyers, program coordinator with Arbor Day Foundation, said previously. 

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