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Earth Day celebration includes Tree City award

City officials say 1,000 trees are planted yearly in Santa Clarita — which are good for beauty and a

Posted: April 21, 2009 10:31 p.m.
Updated: April 22, 2009 4:30 a.m.

Gabi Cardenas, of Canyon Country, takes a picture of her family while wearing an Earth Day shopping bag at the city's Earth Day celebration Saturday at Central Park.

The city of Santa Clarita welcomed families from all over the valley at its Earth Day Festival on Saturday to promote and appreciate Mother Earth.

In conjunction with the festival, the city also celebrated its 20th annual Arbor Day.

Attendees enjoyed live music, more than 60 vendors and six educational interactive zones.

Whole Foods presented Children’s Zone, where little ones were invited to create their own recycled art sculpture.

Kids decorated using recycled items such as empty tissue boxes, paper-towel rolls, bottle caps and empty aluminum cans.

Tutor Time gave kids the opportunity to paint and decorate their own flower pots and then plant seeds in them.

The Green Car Zone displayed the latest vehicles using hydrogen fuel cells, gas-electric hybrids, electric vehicles, ethanol, bio-diesel and compressed natural gas.

Attendees entering the Energy Zone checked out displays by solar companies, green builders and companies developing alternative-energy-use products for the home.

“This is the place to be today,” said Elizabeth Pliego, a resident of Canyon Country since 1973. “If you’re concerned of how you’re living and how the valley looks, this is how you can change.”

Diana Rotellini and her twin sons, Tino and Nico Rotellini-Cataldi, of Castaic, came to scope out the latest products available and to enjoy the interactive zones.

“It’s nice to look at the environmental products,” she said. “We started changing how we clean our house. We use more eco-friendly products.”

During the celebration, the city was recognized by the National Arbor Day Foundation and received its 19th consecutive Tree City USA award for 2008.

“Nineteen years is a long time,” Councilwoman Laurene Weste said as she accepted the award on behalf of City Hall. “We plant 1,000 trees every year in our community. It’s important for air quality and overall beautification of our community.”

The National Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters conduct the Tree City USA program. The award recognizes communities that effectively manage their public-tree resources.

“We do it for you and we thank you for being involved,” Weste said. “Now let’s go plant a tree.”

New trees were planted in the park throughout the festival, including many at the new Dog Park.

This year’s event offered 1,000 free trees and 1,000 free bags of composted mulch to the public.

“That’s why Santa Clarita is so beautiful,” Pliego said.



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