OCEAN PARK BLVD — A newly planted pine tree will be the center of a ceremony today celebrating Earth Day and National Arbor Day. City officials and students and faculty from the Art Institutes of California at Los Angeles and Hollywood are attending this public event.

“This celebration is a way for us to officially launch the [Greenhouse Gas} Tree Planting Project in Santa Monica, while also recognizing Earth Day and Arbor Day. Our partnership with the students and faculty of the Art Institute of California should serve as an example to young people that volunteerism in the community and a commitment to improving our air quality takes us one step closer to a cleaner and healthier environment,” said Community Forester Walt Warriner.

The Greenhouse Gas Tree Planting Project involves planting 1,000 new trees throughout Santa Monica. Both art institutes have partnered up with the United States Forest Service’s Center for Urban Forest Research and Santa Monica to kick off the project. The growth of the trees will be monitored by the city and the data gathered will be provided to the Center for Urban Forest Research. The project is an effort to generate information on Santa Monica’s efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“We encourage students, faculty and staff to participate in this initiative and take part in a community service project that is in line with our own goal to become a ‘green’ business and more sustainable as we work together to protect our environment,” President of the Art Institute of California — Los Angeles Laura Soloff said.

The planting ceremony today is the second tree-planting event this week. On Tuesday, over 100 students and faculty from both art institutes planted over 15 new cedar trees near Lincoln Middle School between the 1400 and 1500 blocks on Washington Avenue.

“Participating in the National Week of Service complements our campus environment of serving our students and serving the community where we live and work,” said Greg Marick, president of the Art Institute of California — Hollywood. “Giving back to the community is always the right thing to do and we are proud of the work and support our faculty, staff and students have put into this important effort.”

Today’s event starts at 11:30 a.m. and will be held at 2901 Ocean Park Blvd.

news@smdp.com

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