Oakland, CA, August 17, 2012…Oakland Zoo’s horticulture staff collaborates with 10th and 11th graders at Sustainable Urban Design Academy (SUDA), Girl Scouts of Northern California, and the PUEBLO community group to plant more than 200 trees, 100 of which will be native oaks.
“Our partnership with Oakland Zoo and CAL FIRE is a great example of connecting schools, community partners and state resources to provide for authentic, tangible and meaningful projects that benefit all of the individual participants, the community and the planet as a whole,” said Tim Bremner, teacher at Oakland Unified School District. ”
Grant funding of $29,500 was awarded to Oakland Zoo by CAL FIRE, which developed the urban forestry program, Acorns to Oaks.
“The East Bay Zoological Society was selected for funding under our Urban & Community Forestry Program’s “Leafing Out” grant program in 2010,” said James Scheid, CAL FIRE Regional Urban Forester. “The intent of this specific grant type is to fund the creation and implementation of early stage urban forestry projects or programs. The Zoo is accomplishing this by transforming barren or neglected sites along the entryway to its facility and by creating educational programs for area students. Specifically, they are, encouraging the growth of native, fire-adapted, drought-tolerant species while removing dense thickets of unfavorable ones like acacia, eucalyptus and pine. While this project does not fund the removal of said species, it does promote the practice of removing vegetative fuels that can create a fire hazard. Additionally, the zoo can be commended for salvaging larger logs removed from the hillside and utilizing these pieces for various zoo and school garden projects. In tying these concepts in with core elements of youth tree planting and stewardship, the visibility given to urban forestry ecosystem services should provide for a lasting legacy not only with those directly involved with the project but with the many urban residents that visit the zoo for years to come.”
Acorns to Oaks was established to help Oakland Zoo plant a minimum of 200 trees, 100 of them oak trees, and repair and restore urban parkland, create accessible open space experiences that are viable and safe for urban children, peak student interest, and provide hands-on experiences that will impress on children the importance of their role in caring for the environment.
The ultimate goal of this partnership is to create pilot programs designed to educate the community about the importance of urban forests, urban greening, sustainable design, ecosystem land management, and create opportunities through classes and workshops to restore and reforest areas within the Zoo with oak trees. In addition, the project was created to address the gaps in science education faced by all children, but especially the most at risk children.
The trees selected for the Acorns to Oaks project are oak and other species native to the Bay Area. The trees also easily adapt to the open spaces found in Knowland Park. All plants are fire resistant. In addition to purchased plants, acorns were collected by the SUDA students, grown in special tall pot nursery containers, and replanted at the zoo as a part of their school project.
ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO:
The Bay Area's award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid's activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks. For more information please visit our website at http://www.oaklandzoo.org.
Oh tannenbaum, oh tannenbaum, how lovely is thy tax situation.
Less than 24 hours after the Department of Agriculture announced they were slapping a 15-cents per tree tax on Christmas tree growers, the Obama administration backed off on the plan. The idea, hatched by the tree growers themselves was to fund a promotional push similar to the successful "Got Milk?" campaign from dairy producers.
Naturally, consumers would get stuck paying any such tax, bloating tree prices even further. Maybe it's time to try that Festivus aluminum pole from "Seinfeld," instead of a tree? Or maybe it's time to consider these guidelines for buying thata Christmas fir.
1. Ask Where It Came From
Some Christmas tree lots buy trucked-in trees before Thanksgiving, meaning they'll drop needles faster than airlines can raise their baggage fees. Weeks may have passed since those trees were originally cut, so always ask the vendor where and when they buy their trees.
2. Check for Freshness
Is the tree green and healthy with a fragrant scent and moist, flexible needles? Does it have damaged bark or broken branches? When you bounce it lightly on the ground, does it shower you with needles?
3. Weigh It
A heavy tree -- proportionate to its size -- means it contains a higher water content, and is therefore fresh.
4. Buy Locally Grown
Is there an area farm that sells freshly cut trees? You'll still want to give them the bounce test, but just the fact they were cut on-site means the trees are fresher. Enter your zip code under "Find My Tree Now" on the National Christmas Tree Association's website to find your nearest provider.
5. Cut Your Own
It takes some effort and a good axe or saw, but there's a great deal of satisfaction in harvesting your own tree, from an approved location, of course. Finding just the right tree and tackling the job as part of a team also makes for a fun outing.
6. Buy Online
You can buy anything online these days. Companies like Christmas Trees Galore offer free shipping and you won't have to cart the tree home on top of your car. Check FreeShipping.org for delivery deals and while you're there, find free shipping offers on ornaments and other decorations.
7. Treat It Tenderly
Keep the tree outside in a shaded, cool place for a couple days, preferably standing in water. Before bringing it indoors, cut half an inch or so off the butt end to open up its pores, much as you would with cut roses. Once inside, remember to keep the tree stand topped up with water each day. For more information about caring for your live tree, check out The Ohio University's Extension Fact Sheet.
Andrea Woroch is a consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc. and has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC's Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more.