The first 100 or so of a planned 390 drought- and smog-resistant pine trees were planted along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in South Los Angeles on Friday to honor the late civil rights leader and to beautify the area as part of the city’s continuing “urban reforestation” project.
“Our challenge to this community and this city today is to join us in realizing our dream of King Boulevard as a living memorial to the life and work of Dr. King,” Mayor Tom Bradley told a group of citizen volunteers gathered to help with the planting.
“Working together, we can create a boulevard that will truly bring pride to this city and serve as a statement of citizen empowerment far into the future,” the mayor said.
In the coming months, Bradley said, a coalition, with representatives from the community-based King Boulevard Memorial Project, TreePeople and the Los Angeles business community, hopes to plant trees along the entire, seven-mile stretch of the boulevard between Long Beach Avenue and Rodeo Road.
The pines, native to the Canary Islands, are said to be resistant to a number of hazards of Southern California’s environment, including air pollution, scant rainfall, intense sunlight, high summer temperatures and parching Santa Ana winds.