For the 30th consecutive year, City Hall has been recognized as a tree-friendly city by the Arbor Day Foundation, which bestowed upon Santa Monica the “Tree City USA Growth Award” for its tree care and preservation policies.

City Hall is currently developing an Urban Forest Master Plan to ensure that Santa Monica’s urban forest remains healthy for generations to come, city officials said Tuesday.

“We’re very proud of this recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation. A healthy urban forest is something the whole community can get behind,” said Judy Abdo, Urban Forest Master Plan Task Force member and former Santa Monica mayor.

City Hall will hold its annual Arbor Day tree planting ceremony on Saturday, April 30, starting at 8 a.m. in beach parking lot 5S, 2600 Barnard Way. This year volunteers from the local “Mormon Helping Hands” group and the Circle K Kiwanis from UCLA will help with the planting of 60 trees, city officials said.

“Communities that are honored with a Tree City USA designation and a ‘Growth Award’ make a strong commitment to planting and caring for trees, and we applaud their efforts,” said John Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the Arbor Day Foundation. “We also commend a community’s elected officials, volunteers and its citizens for providing needed care for its trees. They recognize that trees provide numerous environmental, economic and health benefits for the community every day.”

More information on Santa Monica’s Urban Forest is available online at santamonicatrees.com.

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