The City of Santa Monica and the U.S. Forest Serviceís Center for Urban Forest Research have joined with The Art Institutes of California-Los Angeles and Hollywood to begin the Greenhouse Gas Tree Planting Project in Santa Monica.

More than 100 students, staff, and faculty from both of The Art Institutes helped plant between 15 and 20 new cedar trees Tuesday, April 21st, near Lincoln Middle School, between the 1400 and 1500 blocks of Washington Avenue in Santa Monica.

City officials, Public Landscape Division staff and Art Institute students and faculty then planted a pine tree in a public ceremony at 2901 Ocean Park Wednesday, April 22nd to recognize both Earth Day and National Arbor Day.

The Greenhouse Gas Tree Planting Project involves planting 1,000 new trees throughout the city, which will be monitored by city staff with growth data provided to the Center for Urban Forest Research.

The project will ultimately bring the city closer to generating reliable information on its efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Santa Monica community forester Walt Warriner said.

ìThis celebration is a way for us to officially launch the GHG Tree Planting Project in Santa Monica, while also recognizing Earth Day and Arbor Day,î Warriner said.

ìOur partnership with the students and faculty of the Art Institute of California should serve as an example to young people that volunteerism in the community and a commitment to improving our air quality takes us one step closer to a cleaner and healthier environment.

Laura Soloff, president of The Art Institute of California ñ Los Angeles, added, ìWe encourage students, faculty, and staff to participate in this initiative and take part in a community service project that is in line with our own goal to become a ìgreenî business and more sustainable as we work together to protect our environment. This project allows our students and staff to participate in an activity that will directly impact our environment.î

Both The Art Institutes of California ñ Los Angeles and Hollywood have been actively involved in serving their communities by providing and lending design, media arts, fashion and culinary resources to local organizations such as The Big Blue Bus, Santa Monica Farmers Markets and the Sustainable Quality Awards, city officials said.

Warriner said the tree planting effort will contribute to the cityís efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and serve as a pilot project for the implementation of protocols associated with Assembly Bill 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act.