CityTrees, the Redwood City nonprofit responsible for growing and maintaining the urban forest, was awarded a grant to plant another 129 trees in the Stambaugh-Heller neighborhood and at six high school campuses. 

The $42,300 grant was awarded by Cal Fire specifically to combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gasses. 

“During their lives, these new trees will remove over 500 tons of greenhouse gasses from the environment while transforming concrete landscapes and beautifying the city and surrounding communities,” CityTrees Board President Simms Duncan said in a press release. 

Tree species were chosen for being especially talented at sucking carbon out of the air and include redwoods, live oaks, crapemyrtles and northern oaks, among other species. 

The grant also prioritizes projects in disadvantaged and low-income communities as defined by the state. Redwood City is home to a disadvantaged community, much of which is within the Stambaugh-Heller neighborhood. CityTrees will plant 71 trees in that part of the city.

The other 58 trees will be planted at six campuses in the Sequoia Union High School District, including schools in East Palo Alto and Belmont.    

“We met with the superintendent, she was open to working with us and that was all the motivation we needed,” said David Grabel, CityTrees’ treasurer. “We’re hoping this leads to additional work with the elementary school district and other school districts in the future.” 

Grabel said many of the existing trees on the city’s high school campuses are old and will soon die. 

“If we don’t put in new generation of trees now there will be a problem on those campuses,” he said. “It’s time to do some forward thinking and plant trees now so that when mature generation dies off something in its place.”

As part of the project, CityTrees will also repair irrigation systems at Woodside High School, among other campuses.

The 129 trees will be planted over the course of six to eight planting events, the first of which is scheduled for Sept. 7 somewhere within the Stambaugh-Heller neighborhood that has not yet been decided. Mayor Ian Bain and Councilwoman Diana Reddy are set to attend.

Trees will be planted with the assistance of the city’s public works department and are expected to live 40 years to 50 years, Grabel said. The nonprofit will prune the trees each year after planting them and they’ve also secured agreements with the nearest landowners to water the trees each week. 

“It’s very rare for [a property owner] to say they won’t take care of a tree,” Grabel said.

Since its founding in 2000, CityTrees has planted 3,200 trees and maintained 3,000. The nonprofit also hosts a pruning seminar once a year in February or March at the Redwood City library and it also teaches students about tree maintenance at schools throughout the year.

Visit citytrees.org/volunteer to sign up for a planting event.

(650) 344-5200 ext. 102

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