Apr 20 2011

Friends of Moraga Canyon Plan “Arbor Day Witness for 55 Oaks”

The Friends of Moraga Canyon announce an event at Crocker Park on Arbor Day

Friends of Moraga Canyon (FOMC) is pleased that Piedmont is planting one new oak tree in Crocker Park in honor of Arbor Day, Friday, April 22nd. At the same time, FOMC has invited its supporters to take part in a  quiet “witness” for the 55 mature oak trees and the existing ecology and terrain at Blair Park that the organization is striving to preserve.

The City’s celebration will take place at Crocker Park on Friday, April 22, at 12:30 pm. FOMC supporters will stand nearby on King near Hampton, holding banners and signs.

FOMC’s goal is to save the oak woodland, plus 100 more trees, that would be sacrificed to build soccer fields in Blair Park. FOMC, with over 950 endorsers, seeks a win-win solution to end the divisiveness in Piedmont over the proposed sports field project. FOMC supports an alternative plan to enlarge Coaches Field into a full-size soccer field that could serve much of the need for field space without destroying the environment.

The city has invited Smokey the Bear to attend the tree-planting to remind everyone of the “importance of urban forests, which provide shade and habitat for birds and help clean the air.”

Here are some of the other benefits trees provide:

–A single urban tree can provide up to $273 a year in pollution fighting, erosion and storm water control, air conditioning and wildlife shelter benefits. (Source: American Forests)

–Trees can reduce noise by up to 50 percent. (Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

–A mature tree can often have an appraised value of between $1,000 and $10,000. (Source: Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers)

–Trees not only brighten city streets and delight nature-starved urbanites; now scientists are discovering that they also play a crucial role in the green infrastructure of America’s cities. As we humans wrestle with how to repair the damage we have wrought on nature, and how to slow climate change, urban trees offer an obvious low-tech solution. (Source: “What Is a Tree Worth?” by Jill Jonnes, Wilson Quarterly, Winter 2011)

–A study in NYC found that the average street tree intercepted 1,432 gallons of water runoff, a service worth $61. (Source: “What is a Tree Worth?” by Jill Jonnes, Wilson Quarterly, Winter 2011)

–The new natural science gallery being created at the Oakland Museum is focusing on stewardship and conservation of our own habitats. Nature is not just a place in a state park 3 hours away, but the incredible biodiversity in our backyard!

(This letter expresses the personal opinions of the author. All statements made are the opinion of the writer and not necessarily those of the Piedmont Civic Association.)

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