The city of Santa Monica has been recognized for its commitment to urban forestry with a Tree City USA Growth Award from the Arbor Day Foundation.
The award honors communities that are dedicated to high levels of tree care and preservation of the environmental benefits of urban forests, according to the foundation. Santa Monica has been recognized as a “Tree City USA” for 30 consecutive years, community forester Walt Warriner said.
“Communities that are honored with a Tree City USA designation and a Growth Award make a strong commitment to planting and caring for trees, and we applaud their efforts,” said John Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the Arbor Day Foundation.
“We also commend a community’s elected officials, volunteers and its citizens for providing needed care for its trees. They recognize that trees provide numerous environmental, economic and health benefits for the community every day.”
Santa Monica officials said the city’s Urban Forest Master Plan, which is being developed with guidance from a community-based task force, will ensure that the city’s urban forest remains healthy for generations to come.
“We’re very proud of this recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation. A healthy urban forest is something the whole community can get behind,” said Judy Abdo, Urban Forest Master Plan task force member and former Santa Monica mayor.
The city held its annual Arbor Day tree planting ceremony April 30 at beach parking lot 5S, where volunteers from the local “Mormon Helping Hands” group and the Circle K Kiwanis from UCLA assisted with the planting of trees.