The threat of rain did not deter 21 volunteers from showing up at 9AM on November 18 for Benicia’s Arbor Day 2023 at Overlook Park. Volunteers included members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Benicia Kiwanis and some neighborhood residents. Benicia High School sent members from the Key Club, Tree Club and National Honor Society.
Marcos Jaime and Kenneth Hand of the City of Benicia prepped the site. Holes were dug for the trees and about ten truckloads of wood-chip mulch were dumped in the planter areas before the volunteers arrived. Jaime said the new trees were the first to be planted at Overlook Park since the removal of a number of trees that grew to be diseased or hazardous.
After Marcos demonstrated how to plant a tree, the volunteers set out to claim one of the remaining nine trees to plant. Species included Lagerstroemia indica (Crepe myrtle), Pistacia chinensis (Chinese Pistache) and Heteromeles arbutifolia (Toyon).
The last task for the event was to spread the piles of mulch throughout the park’s planter areas. Volunteers took a break when a neighbor brought out freshly-baked cranberry bread to share. All tasks were completed by 11:30, and everyone was thankful that only light rain occurred for a short period during the event.
Benicia Tree Foundation has two events scheduled until the new year. A Tree Care Day is planned for Thursday, November 30 at Lake Herman Open Space, followed by a planting of about a dozen native trees at the freeway offramp in front of Benicia State Recreation Area on Saturday, December 16. Click here to register for either event.