In recognition of Arbor Day, traditionally held the last Friday in April, the City of Grover Beach launched an initiative to plant 60 new trees in honor of the community’s 60th anniversary.
The celebration commenced on April 12, when the Grover Beach City Council adopted an Arbor Day proclamation that recognizes the economic and environmental value of trees.
“Trees are vital to everyday life,” said City Manager Matthew Bronson. “From an economic perspective, trees reduce heating and cooling costs by moderating temperatures; they also help increase property values. From an environmental perspective, trees reduce erosion, clean the air, produce oxygen, and provide wildlife habitats. With this in mind, we look forward to Grover Beach residents joining us in celebrating trees.”
Residents, business owners, and community groups are encouraged to contribute to the city’s 60-tree goal—anchored by queues of Hybrid Washingtonia Palms, Brisbane Box trees and New Zealand Christmas trees along downtown corridor West Grand Avenue—by planting trees throughout the year. A month-long #GroverBeachArborDay social media challenge, which ran through Arbor Day, April 30, offered an Arbor Day-themed goodie bag, water bottle, or tote bag to residents who posted photos of themselves posing with newly planted trees or hugging existing trees.
All trees will be planted in compliance with Grover Beach’s established comprehensive Street Tree Regulations, within the city’s Site Development Standards, which governs a program of policies and specifications for the installation, maintenance, and preservation of trees within the city. Suggested trees include drought-resistant, low-maintenance varieties such as fruitless olive, marina strawberry, and palm trees.
The city recommended that when planting trees, community members allow adequate space for the tree to flourish and pay close attention to potential future overhead utility line conflicts as well as proximity to sidewalks, driveways, building foundations, and other structures that could be damaged by tree roots.
“Grover Beach is proactive about considering its infrastructure, ensuring that the city has not only attractive but also appropriate trees,” said Senior Risk Manager Tim Karcz. “Among other factors, the city is intentional about choosing varieties that are appropriate for the water table, considering ongoing maintenance, and projecting how new plantings will affect pathways and walking areas.”
The city’s regulations also accommodate environmentally sensitive habitat areas designated by the Coastal Commission due to their proximity to monarch butterfly habitats, as well as protected oak woodlands that are home to valley oak, California sycamore, black walnut, California boxelder, and Fremont cottonwood trees.
“As part of the city’s responsibility to maintain its parks and facilities, Grover Beach retains a certified arborist to assess the condition of its trees. Sometimes removal is the best long-term solution to eliminate the public safety risk and liability exposure posed by potential failure of a tree,” said Karcz.
The California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (California JPIA) provides its members with a Tree Inspection and Maintenance Policy template that contains guidelines to reduce public agency exposure to liability associated with trees, protect trees, and maintain trees’ public benefits, including improved air quality, reduced storm water flow, habitat for wildlife, and reduced heat island effect. The template is accessible in Microsoft Word format so that agencies can make specific modifications.
Providing innovative risk management solutions for its public agency partners for more than 40 years, the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (California JPIA) is one of the largest municipal self-insurance pools in the state, with more than 120 member cities and other governmental agencies. Members actively participate in shaping the organization to provide important coverage for their operations. The California JPIA provides innovative risk management solutions through a comprehensive portfolio of programs and services, including liability, workers’ compensation, pollution, property, and earthquake coverage, as well as extensive training and loss control services. For more information, please visit the California JPIA’s website at cjpia.org.