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Bob Kellar: Grow green at Earth Arbor Day festival

Posted: April 4, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: April 4, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

It’s no secret that, in Santa Clarita, we take our trees seriously. Our city is home to more than 50,000 trees, including the majestic oaks that have stood tall in our valley for hundreds of years.

Together, these leafy counterparts help keep our air clean, shade our parks, enhance our open spaces and add character to our neighborhoods.

The city of Santa Clarita branches out in many ways to preserve our valley’s natural landscape, from our long-standing Oak Tree Ordinance, to annual events like River Rally and the Neighborhood Leaf Out program.

However, no event celebrates Santa Clarita’s commitment to the outdoors quite like the city’s annual Earth Arbor Day Festival. This free event has stayed true to its roots by providing helpful tips, tools and technology to help residents “go green” in their daily lives.

Sponsored by the SCV Family of Water Suppliers, the Earth Arbor Day Festival will be held Saturday, April 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Central Park.

Several eco-minded vendors, businesses and organizations will be on hand to provide demonstrations, activities and entertainment for the entire family.

The 2014 Earth Arbor Day Festival also marks Santa Clarita’s 25th annual Arbor Day celebration. As part of the festival, the city will accept its 24th consecutive “Tree City USA” award, which is bestowed on communities that provide outstanding public arbor programs and management.

To celebrate these milestones, the city will give away more than 1,000 free trees and 1,000 free bags of composted mulch at Earth Arbor Day. The mulch comes from last year’s Christmas trees the city mulched and bagged.

Additionally, nearly 50 new trees will be planted in the Newhall Park area within the coming months as a further commitment to Santa Clarita’s “Tree City USA” distinction.

Festival attendees will be able to choose from nearly 20 varieties of free one- and five-gallon trees to take home for their yards. City staff and volunteers will be on hand to provide planting tips and match residents with their ideal sapling.

Urban farming and gardening tips will also be cultivated at the festival through guided walking tours of Central Park’s Community Gardens and Castaic Lake Water Agency’s sustainable garden.

In addition to these green thumb perks, the Earth Arbor Day Festival will feature exciting eco-demonstrations and technologies in six interactive zones: Water Conservation, Eco, Energy, Tree, Alternative Transportation and Community Organizations.

Each zone will be uniquely themed to address specific environmental topics and will include plenty of fun activities for attendees of all ages to learn from and enjoy.

Community kids will be able to participate in several hands-on activities, including turning an old T-shirt into a trendy scarf, fashioning a backyard bird feeder out of Cheerios, and decorating a flower pot to plant the seeds of their choice.

No matter what activity they choose, kids are sure to sprout new knowledge about reducing, reusing and recycling.

A favorite attractions at the annual Earth Arbor Day Festival is the “cArt aRt” competition. This community contest challenges residents to transform an ordinary recycling bin into an extraordinary piece of art by decorating it with recycled items, paint and art supplies.

The entries are always extraordinary and increase knowledge about recycling in an unusual way.
This recycling theme will continue beyond the “cArt aRt” exhibit because the 2014 Earth Arbor Day Festival will be a “Zero Waste” event.

To achieve this goal, the Festival will generate no waste and will only include compost or recycle bins without a single trash can in sight.

Our local Boys & Girls Club members will be on hand to show attendees what to recycle, what to compost, and how to reduce waste at home.

In addition to these eco-friendly attractions, the 2014 Earth Arbor Day Festival will feature free live music and fresh, healthy food for purchase.

I invite all residents to come out on out to Central Park on April 12 to enjoy a fun day at a great local park with family and friends under the shade of one of Santa Clarita’s many trees.

Bob Kellar is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at bkellar@santa-clarita.com.

 

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