Healthy Trees, Healthy Kids!

On October 6, 2012, Canopy, a local nonprofit group, and California ReLeaf Network member, dedicated to planting trees for healthier communities, will bring together corporate and community volunteer groups to plant 120 shade and fruit trees. In collaboration with Microsoft Corp., Odwalla Plant-A-Tree, Cal Fire’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, and several foundations, Canopy will help create healthier, greener, and more inviting campuses for more than 500 kids at Brentwood Academy and 350 at Ronald McNair Academy in East Palo Alto.


More than 100 corporate and community volunteers are expected to give a hand at the all-day community tree planting. This planting will help further the goal of Canopy’s “Healthy Trees, Healthy Kids!” initiative.


“The goal of the initiative is to plant 1,000 trees for kids by 2015 and start closing the ‘green gap’ between affluent and disadvantaged communities,” Said Catherine Martineau, executive director of Canopy.


Because of Canopy’s efforts, 850 elementary and middle school students at Brentwood Academy and Ronald McNair Academy will benefit from the multiple direct and indirect benefits provided by trees. Direct benefits include cleaner air and water, protection from harmful UV rays and the positive psychological effects associated with the proximity of natural environments. Indirect benefits include a more active lifestyle linked to increased outdoor activity, which helps prevent childhood obesity and childhood diabetes.


Shade tree species to be planted include Forest Green Oak, Cork Oak, Valley Oak, Southern Live Oak, Bosque Elm, and Silver Linden, which are all drought-tolerant and well suited for this region’s climate. Fruit tree species will include avocado, sapote, and a variety of citruses.


The Bosque Elms will be planted using ‘DriWater’ an innovative time released irrigation solution that can be used instead of conventional irrigation to conserve water and save on installation costs.


At noon, between the morning and afternoon planting shifts, volunteers will gather at the front of Brentwood Academy for a ceremonial tree planting and a group photo with elected officials, planting sponsors and representatives of the Ravenswood School District.


Complete list of 2012 sponsors of Canopy’s Healthy Trees, Healthy Kids! intiative: Cal Fire Urban and Community Forestry, Microsoft, Odwalla Plant-A-Tree, Morgan Family Foundation, Sand Hill Foundation, The Dean Witter Foundation, Peery Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Patagonia, Palo Alto Community Foundation, the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, Alliance for Community Trees, Change Happens Foundation, Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund, California ReLeaf, National NeighborWoods Month.

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