Community volunteers joined Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Southwest Airlines employees to plant 66 new large trees along a half-mile stretch of Airport Boulevard near Los Angeles International Airport Saturday, April 18th.

The community planting event was part of the City of Los Angelesí Million Trees LA, an initiative to grow the urban forest and promote a healthier environment.

Southwest Airlines is one of Million Trees LAís corporate benefactors. In 2007, the airline

contributed $250,000 over three years to Million Trees LA to help support the programís tree planting activities citywide.

ìWe are grateful to Southwest Airlines for their contributions to the program,î Million Trees LA executive director Lisa Sarno said. ìTheir support demonstrates the companyís commitment to the community and the environment.î

The effort will help beautify one of the major corridors to LAX, Sarno added.

ìWith Southwestís backing, we are able to have this Million

Trees LA signature project along a major thoroughfare near the airport,î she continued. ìWhen these new trees mature, they will help us clean the air in this high-traffic corridor, as well as beautify it as it welcomes millions of

Los Angeles visitors each year.î

As part of the event, free 15 gallon citrus fruit trees were available for adoption to the first 200 volunteers who own property in Los Angeles.

Since the program began in 2006, Million Trees LA has planted nearly 200,000 trees through various signature plantings along major public transportation corridors, in parks and schools, and through planting pledges from private property owners.

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