Glendale Arbor Day celebration promotes region's 'natural beauty'

For the 67th year, local nonprofit Glendale Beautiful, along with the city of Glendale, encouraged residents to plant trees and enjoy nature during the annual community Arbor Day celebration.

Throughout an hourlong program on Tuesday morning at the Casa Adobe de San Rafael, local residents and public officials watched as those who purchased trees in honor of friends and family were recognized.

"Part of what makes our city so special is the undeniable natural beauty of our region. It is an integral part of our ... identity and one that we are dedicated to preserving," said Mayor Paula Devine, as part of an Arbor Day proclamation.

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This year, 80 trees were donated by community groups and individuals to later be planted in late fall/early winter, in the name of either an organization, friend or family member they want to honor with an enduring symbol.

Arborists will determine the types of trees and locations in Glendale best suited for planting. The trees generally end up as part of a city park or in the landscape of a school or library.

Glendale Beautiful, a nonprofit that coordinates tree donations for city lands, and Glendale's community services and parks department organized the program and invited Dan Hargrove, deputy director of public works/field services, to be the guest speaker.

In a short speech, Hardgrove talked about the importance of trees and the annual arbor event, which has resulted in the planting of about 7,000 trees since its inception.

"I'm encouraging all Glendalians to go out and 'bathe in the woods,'" Hardgrove said.

The Narek Cultural Foundation, a group that runs an Armenian school and daycare center, donated 10 trees this year dedicated to commemorating victims of genocide.

"No matter what, the trees are going to live and our kids they are going to study and learn about the culture," said Arthur Mikaelian, the foundation's Parent-Teacher Assn. representative. "They can walk into the park and see the tree and think about ... Armenian history."

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Jeff Landa, jeff.landa@latimes.com

Twitter: @JeffLanda

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