Unlike last year at Rotary Day with City Plant, the sun shone brightly on Saturday, March 9 at the Van Nuys Recreational Center in Van Nuys, for this year’s Arbor Day Tree planting. Also, unlike last year when the event attracted about 50 total volunteers, this year 630 hearty volunteers came from all across the region to plant a whopping 182 trees.
About 20 LA5 Rotarians came, some with tools in hand, recruited by Past President Jose, now chair of our new Sustainability Committee. Other groups supporting the effort included USC Alumni, Boy Scouts, Farmers Insurance, One Tree Planted, Lime Energy and Disney VoluntEARS.
Attendees heard presentations by Nury Martinez, the area’s L A City Council representative, a state assemblyperson, LA City Parks & Recreation, DWP, other city departments and the L A Conservation Corps. The event was managed and MC’d by our own LA5 member Elizabeth Skrzat, City Plant Executive Director.
After the speeches, groups headed out to plant around the recreation center premises as well as along Vanowen Boulevard the main commercial corridor, where most Rotarians went. While still saplings, the new greenery along this rather barren stretch promises to provide welcome shade to shoppers, bus stop passengers and motorists for many generations to come, especially in this area that really heats up in the summer.
Our work was rewarded by a delicious on-site barbecue taco lunch. By noon our work was done ready to enjoy the rest of the day and savor a job well done.