The USDA Forest Service, CAL FIRE, PG&E, SDG&E and SoCalGas, Northrop Grumman, and California Releaf Honor California Arbor Week

$75,000 in Pass-Through Grants for Tree Planting & Tree Care Educational Events

Logos for the 7 organizations sponsoring the event.

Vallejo Calif.—The United States Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection, and California ReLeaf welcome the support and sponsorship of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Gas, Northrop Grumman, and Edison International to launch the 2019 California Arbor Week Celebration Program. This program supports $75,000 in pass-through grants as well as an art contest for schoolchildren and youth to honor California’s upcoming Arbor Week, March 7-14, 2019. In 2011 by Assembly Resolution, the State extended California Arbor Day to a full week to emphasize how critical trees are to the health and well-being of California’s communities.

A press conference will be held on March 15, 2019, in San Bernardino to honor California Arbor Week and unveil the winners of the annual art contest.

The Forest Service, CAL FIRE, and California ReLeaf welcome the sponsorship of PG&E, Edison International, SDG&E, SoCalGas, and Northrop Grumman in this important annual recognition of the value of trees. The Forest Service actively supports community tree planting in urban areas of California with support for education and pass-through grants.

With the help of the utility companies, this year marks the most Arbor Week grant funding ever with $75,000 in pass-through grants of $1,000 to $2,000 for community groups and nonprofits who wish to make their communities greener, healthier, and stronger with urban trees.

Community groups and non-profit organizations from all over the state submitted grant applications to celebrate California Arbor Week. The grant winners will be announced at the Press Conference on Friday, March 15 at 11a.m. in Bobby Vega Park in San Bernardino. Arbor Week events traditionally engage schoolchildren, parents, and local elected officials with tree planting ceremonies, tree care stewardship, and educational activities.

Also at the press conference, the winners of the 2019 California Arbor Week Art Contest will be announced. The art contest is sponsored by Northrop Grumman.

“Planting trees is a celebration of life and an investment in our children’s future. Especially in California, we must teach our children that trees need ongoing care. Trees need periodic deep watering during our hot, dry summers, so that they can clean and cool the air for us,” said Robert Little, CAL FIRE’s State Urban Forester.

“California Arbor Week honors the wonder and importance of trees in our communities, because trees are absolutely essential to the health of our urban residents – especially in the face of climate change and extreme weather events,” said Cindy Blain, Executive Director of California ReLeaf.

It is very important to plant trees in the right place, so that they provide much-needed shade while avoiding interference with power lines and underground utilities. The utility companies will share information about the importance of carefully selecting the location for planting urban trees to ensure that Californians remain safe when planting trees.

“Increasing the number of trees in our neighborhoods is an important part of Edison’s commitment to combat climate change,” said Caroline Choi, senior vice president, Corporate Affairs for Edison International and Southern California Edison. “Helping green and cool communities supports our shared clean energy goals, enhances energy conservation and benefits our customers in their homes and businesses. Edison International is proud to support California ReLeaf and its mission to preserve, protect and enhance the state’s urban and community forests.” 

“SoCalGas & SDG&E are pleased to be partners in the launch of the 2019 California Arbor Week Celebration Program this year,” said Estela de Llanos, Vice President of Operations Support, Sustainability & Chief Environmental Officer at SoCalGas & SDG&E.“ As both utilities diligently work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state of California, we know that trees are a key part of that goal. As part of our strong commitment to both environmental stewardship and fire safety we take a ‘right tree, right place’ approach so as not to disrupt the electric or gas infrastructure while also supporting the planting of new trees.”

Media Notes:

USDA Forest Service: The USDA Forest Service manages 18 national forests in the Pacific Southwest Region, which encompasses over 20 million acres across California, and assists state and private forest landowners in California, Hawaii and the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands. National forests supply 50 percent of the water in California and form the watershed of most major aqueducts and more than 2,400 reservoirs throughout the state. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.

California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection: As part of the department’s mission, CAL FIRE is charged with protecting California’s forests by maintaining the sustainability of the state’s natural resources including both urban and wildland forests. CAL FIRE is encouraging everyone to be a part of California Arbor Week by planting a tree. It’s important that you carefully plan before you plant a tree to ensure that your tree is drought tolerant and properly placed to avoid growing into power lines, buildings or other infrastructure. Get more planting tips on the CAL FIRE website at www.fire.ca.gov

California ReLeaf’s mission is to empower grassroots efforts and build strategic partnerships that preserve, protect, and enhance California’s urban and community forests. California Arbor Week runs March 7 - 14 each year. For more on all California ReLeaf’s statewide urban forest community development program, please visit http://californiareleaf.org/

Pacific Gas and Electric Company: Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and pge.com/news

San Diego Gas & Electric: SDG&E is an innovative San Diego-based energy company that provides clean, safe and reliable energy to better the lives of the people it serves in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The company is committed to creating a sustainable future by providing around 45 percent of its electricity from renewable sources; modernizing natural gas pipelines; accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles; supporting numerous non-profit partners; and, investing in innovative technologies to ensure the reliable operation of the region’s infrastructure for generations to come. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), an energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information, visit SDGEnews.com or connect with SDG&E on Twitter (@SDGE), Instagram (@SDGE) and Facebook.

Southern California Gas: Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest natural gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, clean and increasingly renewable natural gas service to 21.8 million customers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California, where more than 90 percent of residents use natural gas for heating, hot water, cooking, drying clothes or other uses. Natural gas delivered through the company's pipelines also plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians—about 60 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter(@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook.

Media Contacts

Brenda Kendrix
USDA Forest Service
(707) 980-9011
brenda.kendrix@usda.gov

Lynne Tolmachoff
CAL FIRE
(916) 651-3473
Lynne.Tolmachoff@fire.ca.gov

Cindy Blain
California ReLeaf
cell: (916) 248-6493
cblain@californiareleaf.org

 

Brandi Merlo
PG&E
cell: (916)-212-6548
Brandi.Merlo@pge.com

Melissa Bailey
SoCalGas
(213) 244-2442
MBailey@semprautilities.com



Key Contacts

Media Relations Main Line:
707-562-9004

Email (send questions):
MediaDeskR5@fs.fed.us

Brenda Kendrix (Media Relations Officer):
707-562-9011

Paul Wade (Media Relations Back Up):
707-562-9010



https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r5/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD612335