Bringing nature into our cities, one tree at a time.

January 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Studio One Eleven volunteers Eric Gomez (far left) and David Sabunas (far right) assisting at Lowell Elementary tree planting

We take trees seriously.  Not only do they bring beauty and nature into our cities, but they also increase property values, provide comfort, reduce the heat island effect, and provide a habitat for birds and insects.  On top of that, they get bigger and better with time.

The Studio’s interest in tree planting started three years ago when the child of one employee commented that he “felt like an egg frying” on his school’s asphalt playground and wished there were trees so that he and his friends could have shade.  

This inspired us to volunteer to create a planting plan for the elementary school campus, which we submitted to the school district.  Only one tree was approved for the playground the first time around but, after redistributing  the school’s painted program (such as kick ball fields and four square courts), the cafeteria delivery route, and the required fire department clearances, Studio One Eleven was able to execute its vision.  Forty-eight trees were planted at the campus by over 200 volunteers including members of Studio One Eleven, the school’s students, parents and faculty, Tree People, the Long Beach Fire Department, Kiwanis, and students from several universities located throughout Southern California.

To supplement the tree planting, we created educational diagrams (such as the one above) that have been incorporated into the school’s curriculum.

Neighborhood tree-planting in the Naples area of Long Beach

 This effort subsequently led to two more campus tree plantings within the Long Beach Unified School District as well as the development of a community school garden in Rancho Palos Verdes and the design and construction of an urban farm for an inner-city charter school.  At the same time, we became involved in over a dozen neighborhood tree plantings in communities as far away as Glendale.  To date, Studio One Eleven volunteers have assisted in planting 300 trees, with another 65 trees scheduled to be planted this month and 73 more on the boards.  If these trees were planted all together on a thirty foot grid, it would be the equivalent of adding a 9-acre forest – all without purchasing any land! 

We are proud to have forged alliances with Tree People, civic organizations, numerous Council District offices, and community activists.  And it all started with a child’s simple idea.

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