Nonprofit to plant trees at local high schools, community sites | August 28, 2019 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

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Community - August 28, 2019

Nonprofit to plant trees at local high schools, community sites

by Angela Swartz

A local group is helping to plant 129 trees at high schools and in other community spaces through a $42,300 grant.

CityTrees, a Redwood City nonprofit, will plant 58 of those trees at six Sequoia Union High School District campuses, according to a July 21 press release from the group. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) Social Equity Grant Improvement Program is funding the project to help combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gases, according to the press release.

"During their lives, these new trees will remove over 500 tons of greenhouse gases from the environment while transforming concrete landscapes and beautifying the city and surrounding communities," said CityTrees board President Simms Duncan in a prepared statement. "We invite all community members to come out and join our work."

CityTrees and the Redwood City public works department will plant 71 trees in Redwood City's Stambaugh-Heller neighborhood, a designated "disadvantaged community area" — an official term for an area that suffers from a combination of economic, health and environmental burdens. The Stambaugh-Heller plantings will begin on Sept. 7, said David Grabel, CityTrees treasurer.

Organization leaders will meet with the six schools' principals on Aug. 28 to finalize the number of trees and tree species at each campus, Grabel said. CityTrees will give the schools a month or two to settle into the new school year before planting the trees, he said.

The plan, the nonprofit said, is to plant 19 trees at Sequoia High, 15 at Woodside, 10 at Carlmont, six at Menlo-Atherton, four at Everest, and four at East Palo Alto Academy.

The life of theis estimated at 40 to 50 years, Grabel said. The group plans to plant live oaks, crepe myrtles, coast redwoods, ginkgos and other species.

"Many people don't realize there are generations of trees," he said. "Many of the trees on these (school) campuses are mature and aging and go through a cycle of life; it's one of the reasons why it's so important to plant trees."

CityTrees plans to provide seminars on tree care and maintenance, according to a press release, which added that students will benefit from an annual seminar and planting and pruning events.

In addition to reducing greenhouse gases, the press release says, the project is expected to decrease fossil fuel-based energy use and restore wildlife habitat.

The mission of CityTrees, which was founded in 2000, is to improve the quality of life in the greater Redwood City area through a coordinated program of education, outreach and advocacy for tree planting, maintenance and support. The group has planted more than 3,200 trees and maintained 3,000 trees, leaders says

To volunteer with CityTrees, go to www.citytrees.org/volunteer.

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