Berkeley marked its first day as an official Tree City USA yesterday by planting 13 young trees on and around Thousand Oaks Elementary School in North Berkeley. The city and the school district joined together to help students learn about the importance of trees in the environment and proper planting techniques.

Students planted two Trident Maples in what had long been an empty corner of the school’s blacktop. Students and enthusiastic observers then moved to the park next to the school to plant three Saucer Magnolias, four Western Redbuds and four Coast Live Oaks into the planting strips along Ensenada and Tacoma Avenues.

According to one observer, “Excavated earthworms, ants and pill bugs were examined closely in the process.”

With student sitting on the branches of a large nearby tree applauding (see above), Berkeley City Councilmember Laurie Capitelli accepted the official Tree City, USA banner from a representative for the National Arbor Day Foundation, the sponsors of the program.  He thanked all the children, community members and staff who participated in the event and invited everyone to join him in the next neighborhood planting, which will be announced shortly.

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...