“We are not a big city like L.A., Arcadia or Pasadena,” said Daniel Sabidin, park supervisor for the City of Monterey Park. “We lost a lot of trees in the winter storms a few years ago that we have not been able to replace.”
But thanks to a recent delivery of 125 trees donated by Southern California Edison (SCE), Monterey Park will soon be able to replace more than twice the number of trees it lost in 2011 when hurricane-force winds ravaged many San Gabriel Valley communities.
“Assisting with the donation of these trees is part of our ongoing commitment to the San Gabriel Valley,” said Marissa Castro-Salvati, SCE Local Public Affairs region manager, noting that donating trees to smaller cities is an important component in the ongoing recovery from the storms.
For Monterey Park City Councilmember Teresa Real Sebastian, trees represent a vital part of civic life.
“Trees do more than just clean up or spruce up a community,” she said. “They are important to our quality of life. They beautify our landscape and they encourage our citizens to be outdoors and active when we have beautiful, shaded streets.”
With this in mind, Real Sebastian was eager to join the crew from her city’s Park, Median & Street Maintenance Division to help unload the semitrailer filled with trees from SCE.
“When I found out we were receiving these trees, I was so eager to be here to help unload,” she said. “I kept asking, ‘when are the trees coming?’ I thank Edison so much for this donation on behalf of our city.”
As she joined Sabadin and other Monterey Park employees to unload the truck, they discussed where the new trees would be placed.
“Once the trees are mature enough, they could be used in medians, along parkways or in our parks,” said Sabadin. “Depending on the types, some of them may need to grow a little more first, but we will give them all a good home.”
At 7.66 square miles, Monterey Park has 14 parks and 3.5 miles of medians within its borders, Sabadin said. “This gift helps immensely.”
With a population of 60,937, Monterey Park has one of the highest Asian populations at nearly 67 percent compared to 13 percent statewide, according to the 2012 U.S. Census Bureau. Almost 77 percent of Monterey Park residents speak a language other than English at home.
The Jan. 30 delivery to Monterey Park was the second delivery of the day for the utility, said Chris Peck of SCE Local Public Affairs. The company also provided 125 trees to the City of San Marino, bringing the total number of trees donated to San Gabriel Valley communities to more than 2,000 since November 2013.
More trees will be donated and delivered to affected cities later this year as they continue to grow and mature at SCE's Auberry Tree Farm near Shaver Lake.