Op-Ed | Reforesting Piedmont, Neighborhood by Neighborhood

Reclining Coast Live Oak in Piedmont Park | Photo credit: Brian Mahany

At its March Meeting the Piedmont Beautification Foundation (PBF as it is typically referred to) joined the bandwagon gaining steam to reforest Piedmont with native plants neighborhood by neighborhood.  Among the reasons for this ambitious effort is climate change, which seems to be more concerning with each passing month.  Many trees and other plants which thrived in a moderate climate with plenty of rain every winter are suffering and dying in our increasingly hot, windy weather. 

Two recent examples of this new effort include 1) the Park Commission spent a day at Bushy Dell Creek planting riparian native plants donated by Watershed Nursery thanks to Tom and Jane Kelly of Greens at Work; 2) Piedmont Garden Club commemorated it’s 100th Birthday with a $10,000 donation to the City. The funds will be used to install native plants near the Firehouse at City Hall.

Next is the much-anticipated decision as to what to plant to replace the iconic Sequoia gigantea in the traffic circle at the Mountain and Bellevue intersection. This redwood tree stood tall in this intersection for generations, even serving as Piedmont’s first holiday tree during the 20s and 30s (stopped by the onset of WWII). Showing grave danger of toppling, this tree was removed last fall. At its March meeting the Park Commission approved the recommendation of the City staff and supported by PBF to replace that tree with an Island Oak, Quercus tomontella, a tree indigenous to California (especially the Channel Islands) and regarded as likely to thrive in a small traffic island that has no regular source of water.

PBF will undertake a campaign to raise funds to select a good specimen of Island Oak. Campaign proceeds will help refurbish the traffic circle with suitable landscaping, install a plaque commemorating the Sequoia, contribute to the cost of hand watering through the City’s landscape maintenance contract, and provide care for the Island Oak for its first two years. After that time the tree should thrive on its own. Representatives of PBF plan to visit nearby neighbors to solicit funds for the project.

PBF’s main spring project will be on a much larger scale: a campaign to Reforest Piedmont Neighborhood by Neighborhood. A map of the City will be marked with areas where reforestation is needed. This will include parks, civic areas, traffic circles, tree-lined streets, and other appropriate spots. The emphasis will be to replace trees that are no longer surviving in our increasingly harsh climate with trees indigenous to California that are likely to thrive going forward.

PBF’s Spring Brochure (to be mailed in early May) will show various neighborhoods to which gifts may be targeted.  PBF and the City will first aim to reforest Dracena Park, where the need for new trees is most urgent. Donors who wish to contribute to an alternative area where reforestation is needed will be able to do so.

This exciting new campaign will be known as “Reforesting Piedmont Neighborhood by Neighborhood.”  The community is encouraged to look for PBF’s spring brochure which will include details on how to give our City a beautiful, new and greener look.

Piedmont Beautification Foundation’s mission, in partnership with the City, is to provide a safe, sustainable and beautiful community. The Foundation is comprised of eight trustees from the City and Piedmont Garden Club, and 26 advisors from the community at large. To learn more about Piedmont Beautification Foundation, please visit  https://piedmontbeautificationfoundation.org/

see related

Leave a Reply

The Exedra comments section is an essential part of the site. The goal of our comments policy is to help ensure it is a vibrant yet civil space. To participate, we ask that Exedra commenters please provide a first and last name. Please note that comments expressing congratulations or condolences may be published without full names. (View our full Comments Policy.)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *