By Brittany Hanson/Garden Grove Journal
How is green is Garden Grove? Apparently, not green enough on Bixby Avenue. Five trees not enough.
So, as a remedy, the Central Garden Grove Neighborhood Association, The Moose Lodge, residents of Malabar Apartments and Living Spring Christian Fellowship, neighborhood children and the City of Garden Grove’s Public Works Street Tree Division joined to bring some leafy greens to the area.
Five trees were missing from the parkway on Bixby Avenue, north of Brookhurst Elementary. Those empty tree wells are now a project that is part of Tree City USA, the home of the Arbor Day Foundation.
600 students crowded the fence between the elementary school and the street to get a look at the action as their classmates piled soil into the tree wells and patted mounds of earth around the fledgling tree bases.
One young tree planter observed, “We’re making a circle of life.” All of his classmates agreed and said the same.
“We really want people to know that this is a joint non-profit effort,” said Robin Marcario from the CGGNA.
Marcario also said that the kids participating were amazing.
“We don’t give kids enough credit,” said Marcario.
Each year on Arbor Day, March 10, trees are planted across America as a part of the program to help make cities greener and encourage urban forestry.
According to their website, www.arborday.org, the foundation, “provides direction, assistance, attention, and national recognition for urban and community forestry programs in thousands of towns and cities.”
Kirk Tietjen, superintendent of the city’s street trees division, said that he doesn’t know how many tree have been planted in Garden Grove since the start of the program, but he does know it has been a lot.
In the past, local community members have teamed up with the Arbor Day Projects the city has organized or donated to them. This year, Ralph Laudenslayer, a board member of the CGGNA came to Tietjen with the proposal to plant trees on Bixby Avenue.
According to Laudenslayer, the idea is to not only help the kids at the school learn about why trees are important but to beautify the area.
A project overview paper from the CGGNA said, “Though a small effort, it will provide an important lesson for participating children and adults and will hopefully encourage further efforts to restore the ‘garden’ in Garden Grove.”
Laudenslayer said that once the trees are planted, neighborhood residents, volunteers and students will help with watering them in shifts for the first eight to 10 months.
“I hope it’s a project that the neighborhood kids can get involved in,” said Laudenslayer.