Daniel DeLeon shows off his work at St. Dominic School December 3, 2011.
These two trees were planted at St. Dominic School in Benicia and are a joint project of the DeLeon family, St. Dominic, and the Benicia Tree Foundation. The project was spearheaded by the Elena Karoulina, and her dedicated family members including her son, Daniel DeLeon and her husband Mariano DeLeon.
Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis) is a large deciduous shrub or a small tree (15 feet or so). It has Willow-like, long narrow leaves and it grows desert environments, giving the Desert Willow its name. The Penstemon-like flowers are fragrant, their colors ranging from pink to lavender. They appear in May and keep coming until September. The trees add to the growing list of trees being planted by Benicians who are committed to growing the urban forest.
"It's our sincere hope that these two Desert Willows will be followed by other trees and plants on the St. Dominic School yard to make it an inviting, beautiful green space that nourishes the souls of our children," remarked Elena. The DeLeon family became Tree-Keepers during the implementation of the project, and raised funds for the trees with support from St. Dominic School. Elena is active in the community and serves on the Board of the Benicia Community Gardens, a partner of the Benicia Tree Foundation.