By VINCE MIKULANIS
In 2018, the Allied Gardens Grantville Community Council, local volunteers and the City of San Diego partnered together to plant trees for the Zion Avenue Beautification Project. Over 60 Jacaranda trees (the official tree of San Diego) were planted and are currently being watered and cared for by local residents and a team of volunteers. Most of the trees are continuing to do well, and in a few years will begin to form a beautiful canopy over one of the busiest streets in the Allied Gardens neighborhood.
That same partnership is currently in the planning stages for a much larger planting project — revitalizing the urban forest in a portion of Allied Gardens East. With the help of a team of arborists and a major benefactor, the partnership has a goal of planting over 500 trees.
The plan is to work with local residents to water these newly planted trees as part of their landscaping. Free tree plantings will be offered for the planting strip in front of people’s homes and their front yards, with the additional option of a free tree delivered for homeowners to plant in their backyard.
The program is entirely voluntary. The partnership will work with residents to plant the trees, but if for some reason the resident does not want any trees planted, none will be planted at that location.
While the project is still in the planning stages, organizers are excited to get the word out to local residents about the opportunity to plant free trees. More information will be coming in the next weeks and months as the group targets fall 2021 for the majority of the planting to take place. For now, here are some answers to questions residents may have about the project:
Why are you doing this?
Because we love this community! When Allied Gardens was first constructed there were trees in front of all the houses. We want to restore our urban forest, bringing back the benefits to our community.
Where are you doing this?
We are concentrating our efforts on the neighborhood immediately adjacent to Marvin Elementary.
We are also aiming to fill in the spaces where available along Waring Road, from Navajo Road to Zion Avenue.
A final planting goal is to plant along Glenroy Street from Princess View to the Benjamin Library. This will help make the walk to Lewis Middle School more pleasant for our students.
Trees provide numerous benefits to the community. The “urban forest” helps to:
- Beautify the community. Trees are just nice to look at.
- Increase property values. Trees are proven to increase property values by 10% or more.
- Calm traffic. Tree lined streets have been shown to reduce vehicle speeds.
- Cool the community. Trees provide shade, reducing ambient temperature in the summer.
What if I do not want a tree?
No problem! We only want to plant trees where they will be accepted by the resident.
I had a tree and it tore up my sidewalk. Why would I want another one?
A lot of lessons have been learned in urban forestry since the construction of Allied Gardens. One of those is what types of trees are appropriate for certain areas, and more importantly which ones are not appropriate. The tree species selected for this project (five to six different types) will be appropriate for the planting space to avoid infrastructure conflicts.
When will this happen?
For residents in the project area, expect initial outreach in the next few weeks.
Tree plantings are targeted for fall 2021. Fall is one of the best times to plant trees in our community.
What if I want a tree, but am not in the project area?
There are additional options to have the city plant a tree. Go to sandiego.gov/trees to request a free tree be planted in the strip between the sidewalk and the street.
We are also working on potential tree distributions for homeowners to plant outside the project area.
For questions contact email@example.com.