Rebirth of Park Solano

October 19, 2019

On October 19, 2019, an old park in Benicia got a major face lift.  Park Solano, at the corner of Hastings Drive and Solano Drive , was greeted early Saturday morning by 50 eager volunteers and a truck-full of trees!  The City of Benicia had prepared the old park for this big day. They had dug the holes for the 13 new trees which would be planted on Saturday.  The City had also provided the mulch to cover all the bare spots in the old, worn park.  An anonymous donor had paid for the trees.  Benicia Tree Foundation (“BTF”) and the City provided the tools to plant the trees and spread the mulch.  BTF had also recruited the volunteers to do the planting and mulching.  The Benicia Herald paper played a role by publicizing for the event and getting the Benicia community to turn out.

And this collaboration paid off!  50 volunteers showed up to re-make the old Park.   Our mayor, Elizabeth Patterson, Councilman Steve Young and County Supervisor Monica Brown welcomed the volunteers.  City arborist, Marcos Jaime, then showed the group how to properly plant a tree (which isn’t as easy as it looks and takes a good deal of strength.)  But, no one was dissuaded!!  Eager volunteers set off in groups to plant trees, mulch the bare ground, water trees, and SWEAT!  After only a few hours, the park was reborn.  It looked brand new. 

Valero had generously contributed to the event, so breakfast and lunch were provided.  Of course, all of the food at the event came from trees.  Sustainable Solano contributed fresh fruit and sandwiches made with ingredients from trees.  Another volunteer from BTF and Sustainable Solano also made tree-based sandwiches and cookies in the shape of leaves.  It was a perfect day for the old park and hopefully for all the volunteers who can enjoy a beautiful new park and who can also watch their trees grow into their majestic selves over their lifetimes.  The event ended with a scavenger hunt and prizes for the first, second and third place winners of the hunt.  The 1st place team took home a 4-box delivery of fresh fruits and vegetables provided by EatWell Farms through the efforts of Sustainable Solano. 

The great news is, that anyone who wants to keep up this incredible effort at planting trees in our community can do so anytime.  Benicia Tree Foundation does this work the second Saturday and third Thursday of most months from 9 am to noon.  BTF has 12 project sites in Benicia, many at our local schools and in the State Park.  Check out their website  www.beniciatrees.org and send an email to info@beniciatrees.org to receive notices on future events.  Also, keep your eyes out for another collaboration between the City and BTF in April for Earth Day and Arbor Day.  The park closest to you may just be the next one that gets some love.      

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Volunteers that showed up at the October 19th Park Solano tree planting.

 

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Benicia Mayor, Elizabeth Patterson, greets volunteers at Park Solano.

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Monica Brown (left) read a poem to volunteers at Park Solano

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Volunteers watch City Arborist, Marcos Jaime, demonstrate how to plant a tree.

 

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Wide range of volunteers showed up.


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Tree planting begins.


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Pounding tree poles is a workout.

 

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The Mincy family with their tree.

 

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Valero and Sustainable Solano sponsored the food table for the volunteers.

 

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Sugar cookies for the volunteers.


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Park Solano before the tree planting project.

 

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Park Solano after the tree planting project