Mayor Celebrates Arbor Day in SF

(March 5, 2008)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--Today, Mayor Gavin Newsom kicked off Arbor Week by planting a special tree in honor of local artist Ruth Asawa at Webster and Grove Streets. San Francisco designates a special week every year to raise awareness about trees.

"Arbor Day is a time when we recognize the important role that trees play in our lives," said Mayor Newsom. "We often take for granted the benefits that trees provide; and if we want to make our city more livable for future generations, we must begin the education about trees today."

Asawa is known and recognized for her intricate artwork in the form of sculptures, drawings, paintings, and photographs. Through her dedication toward education, Asawa brought a sense of community inclusive with her famous art pieces.

"Just as we need to grow and nurture trees to help our environment, so too must we invest in our artists to enhance the culture of San Francisco," said Asawa. "I want this tree that we plant to symbolize our city's commitment to helping grow artists."

San Francisco planted 5,004 trees in 2007, exceeding its yearly goal. Trees are known to provide many environmental benefits including reducing energy use, increasing property values, and removing greenhouse gas emissions from the air. San Francisco is in line to meet its 25,000 trees planted goal by Arbor Day 2009.

"Street trees make our streetscape and landscape environment more livable. They add dimension in neighborhoods and influence a healthier lifestyle," said Edward Reiskin, Director of the Department of Public Works. "Arbor Day is about creating a sense of community and celebrating our trees and the benefits they add to our lives."

For more information about Arbor Day events that are happening this week, log onto www.sfarborday.org.