City officials, staff members and visitors paid tribute to Glendale’s trees Tuesday during the 58th Annual Arbor Day Celebration at Casa Adobe de San Rafael.
Glendale Beautiful and the city’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department hosted the event in honor of former Glendale Mayor Ginger Bremberg, who was a longtime supporter of Glendale Beautiful Arbor Day activities.
“This is a very looked-forward-to event,” said Mary Rose Grim, a member of the executive board for Glendale Beautiful, which is a local nonprofit organization that promotes beautification of the city of Glendale.
“It was initiated to let people know the importance of trees.”
Arbor Day is a national holiday, which was established in 1872 to encourage individuals to plant and care for trees, Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian said.
“We literally have an urban forest,” Najarian said.
“Almost every one of these trees was planted by someone.”
Najarian said the City Council is committed to enforcing the city’s Indigenous Tree Ordinance for the protection of the city’s oak, sycamore and California bay trees.
Tuesday’s event also included a special presentation from second- and third-grade students who attend Balboa Elementary School.
Students read poems they wrote about trees and showed the artwork they created for Arbor Day.
Horticulturist Lilli Singer, the featured speaker, stressed the importance of preserving native trees.
“Native trees serve a special purpose,” Singer said.
“They support more wildlife than non-native trees.”
Only 5% of insect species eat non-native plants, Singer added.
At the end of the event, Glendale Beautiful presented several certificates to participants who purchased trees that were to be planted in memory of their loved ones.
Glendale resident Dorothy Howell honored her brother, her best friend’s son, her neighbor and sister-in-law and had trees planted in their memory.
“I was raised in an area where I have enjoyed trees, and I’ve always been surrounded by nature,” Howell said.
Doyle Kutch, past president of Glendale Beautiful, received a certificate.
Kutch, a Glendale resident, and his family planted more than 25 trees in the city during the last 15 years, he said.
“It’s a way of bringing the community together,” Kutch said of Arbor Day.
“It’s something that everybody can enjoy.”