Treefest 2015 is celebrating the first phase completion of the Greening and Water Reclamation Project, a $150,000 initiative funded by school families and church donors, and that has received the support of local environmental groups. The project provides significant environmental benefits to St. Marks’ Venice campus, including a cutting-edge water infiltration system, more open space and the addition of new drought-tolerant landscaping and a community garden.

The environmental benefits include the ability to collect 3,200 gallons of water at one time in newly installed refillable cisterns – diverting it from the local watershed – and capture an additional 12,000 gallons in an underground water infiltration system carved out near the school’s lunch tables. In addition, the school removed 15,000 square feet of asphalt and replaced it with decomposed granite, permeable pavers, mulch and sand, helping to address drainage problems facing the 1950s-era site for years.

During Tree Fest, school families will help plant 33 mostly native and drought-tolerant trees around the yard with guidance from TreePeople, a nonprofit dedicated to growing a green and climate-resilient Los Angeles.

Councilman Mike Bomin will stop by to take a tour of the facility and the day will culminate with a community festival in the afternoon.

Treefest is Saturday, October 17, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. St. Mark Elementary School, 912 Coeur D’Alene Avenue, Venice.

– Submitted by Monica Rohleder, Signal Rock Communications

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