February 16, 2001

Community Volunteers to Plant Hundreds of Trees in Southeastern San Diego

Over 75 southeastern San Diego residents and volunteers will gather on Saturday, February 17, in a community effort to plant 270 trees along Euclid Avenue and Market Street as part of a beautification program designed to complement the thriving development in the area.

The Street Tree Project, which was advocated by the Jacobs Center for NonProfit Innovation and made possible through a $50,000 contribution by the County of San Diego and County Supervisor Ron Roberts, is designed to involve community residents and businesses in making neighborhood improvements.

With the flurry of development taking place in the area over the past several years, the most recent of which is the opening of a Food 4 Less supermarket in the Market Creek Plaza, residents and businesses felt that lending a hand in the greening of their neighborhood would help instill a sense of community pride.

"Community members approached the Jacobs Center and expressed a desire to plan their streets green," explained Dwayne Crenshaw, Director of Government Relations for the Jacobs Center. "As the developer of the Market Creek Plaza, we're ready, willing and able to partner with resident volunteers and some of the community's non-profit organizations to fill this need. We're delighted to be part of it," he added.

The Euclid-Market Action Team (EMAT), a grassroots community involvement organization instrumental in soliciting resident input for area development, went door-to-door in the neighborhood inviting home-owners to the tree planting event and asking if they would like a tree planted in their yard. The response was overwhelmingly positive.

"We dig the hole and plant the tree and the only thing they have to do is water it," said Vernon Brinkley, EMAT's chairperson. "It doesn't cost them a penny and it goes a long way to promote the benefits of urban forestry and community aesthetics," he added. Experts say that planting trees in urban areas helps reduce the occurrence of graffiti, slows down the speed of traffic, and decreases other illegal activities.

The Street Tree Project begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Jacobs Center's 47th and Market Street location. People for Trees representative will offer a tree planting orientation for the volunteers.

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