Santa Barbara County just got a bit greener.
With the arrival of more than 500 trees donated by Southern California Edison (SCE) to various cities, Santa Barbara City College and the Los Padres National Forest, residents will soon be seeing more oaks, willows and sequoias throughout the county.
“We appreciate this generous donation from SCE,” said Greg Thompson, forester for Los Padres National Forest. “These trees have a positive impact on our environment and will be planted along Figueroa Mountain.”
With SCE's nursery in Auberry closing at the end of this year, the utility wanted to ensure its trees would find homes throughout the cities it serves. Soon, its Local Public Affairs representatives got to work to see who wanted the trees.
LPA region manager Rondi Guthrie's area includes Santa Barbara County. She reached out to her contacts and soon had several takers, including the county and cities of Goleta and Carpinteria, Santa Barbara City College and the Los Padres National Forest.
“These trees will be planted in areas throughout Santa Barbara County and will help beautify the area and offset costs for local governments,” said Guthrie.
More than 250 15-gallon trees were donated to the Los Prietos Station in the Los Padres National Forest Santa Barbara Ranger District. The trees included coast live oak, Toyon, valley oak and California walnut.
These SCE-donated trees will be used in a native tree restoration around the Los Prietos Station
The city of Goleta received 210 15-gallon trees, including Chinese pistache, coast live oak, cork oak, western redbud and weeping bottlebrush. Santa Barbara City College received 40 15-gallon trees, which included Afghan pine, Aleppo pine, desert willow, giant sequoia and crape myrtle.
“The changing climate has been especially hard on Santa Barbara City College’s campus forest, especially for pine and cypress species,” said Santa Barbara City College Grounds Maintenance Supervisor Mark Broomfield. “These trees will help ensure that the next generation of students will have as beautiful and sustainable a place to study and learn as Santa Barbara City College is today.”
“This has been very successful in the Santa Barbara area and a great way to partner with local agencies,” said Guthrie. “As SCE continues to make infrastructure improvements to the grid, it is nice to find ways to partner with our government agencies to benefit the community at large.”