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Laurene Weste: It’s Oaktober time again

Live from City Hall

Posted: October 8, 2009 7:22 p.m.
Updated: October 9, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Santa Clarita is home to tens of thousands of beautiful oak trees. They blanket our local mountains, line our streams and add a charming aesthetic to our natural landscape.

In celebration of these beautiful local trees, the city of Santa Clarita is gearing up to host its third annual Oaktober event.

Held during October, which is Oak Tree Awareness Month, Santa Clarita’s month-long Oaktober celebration is set to be filled with numerous community events designed to pay tribute to the city’s majestic local trees.

This year’s festivities got started Tuesday with oak tree planting sessions at Leona Cox Elementary School and Santa Clarita Park.

Community members are invited to attend the next event, on Oct. 24, to participate in planting 20 oak trees along the Chuck Pontius Commuter Red Trail and Santa Clarita River in conjunction with “Make a Difference Day,” a national holiday held to encompass the spirit of helping others.

Created to help protect and preserve Santa Clarita’s trademark oak tree population, Oaktober brings community members together through events and activities designed to inform residents about the importance and care of this native tree species, which thrives in Santa Clarita.

Santa Clarita’s native oak tree population dates back to the 1800s, making their prominent presence an integral part of our community’s composition.

Oaktober reinforces the city’s commitment to preserving the existence of these local trees.

From enforcing specific permit processes to the establishment of an oak tree preservation and protection ordinance, the city continues to take steps to ensure our local oak tree population not only survives today, but also continues to thrive tomorrow.  

In addition to tree plantings, the city’s Urban Forestry Division will host an oak tree community workshop on Oct. 21 at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The workshop is designed to provide residents with valuable information on the care of oak trees, including proper pruning, pest and disease treatment, and landscaping.

The free seminar will also include information on Santa Clarita’s permit process, as well as fire and brush clearance regulations required by the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Seminar attendees will also be able to sign up to receive a free five-gallon native oak tree, compliments of the Urban Forestry Division. Community members can RSVP at santa-clarita.com to secure one of the 60 spots available for the presentation.

The city’s oak tree preservation efforts continue beyond Oaktober, and 2009 marks the 19th year in a row in which the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection presented Santa Clarita with the prestigious Tree City USA award.

Oaktober provides the opportunity for community members to participate in these continued protection efforts toward the beautiful trees that have been a part of Santa Clarita for hundreds of years.

Through hard work and preservation, Santa Clarita’s oak trees will continue to dot our landscape and shade our neighborhoods for generations to come.

Laurene Weste is a Santa Clarita City Councilwoman. Her column reflects her own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. “Live from City Hall” is a column provided to The Signal by the city of Santa Clarita.

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