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South Bay Residents Offered Free Trees to Celebrate Arbor Week

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Aired 4/19/09

It's Arbor Week in California -- and a local non-profit organization is celebrating by giving away a thousand trees to residents of the South Bay. The San Diego Regional Energy Office announced the so-called “shady deal” outside a home in Chula Vista. KPBS Radio's Andrea Hsu has more.

The trees -- which include magnolias, pines, and oaks -- are free to residents who fill out an application form and accept responsibility for watering and maintaining the trees. Chula Vista Councilmember Steve Castaneda told residents the trees not only help spruce up the neighborhood -- they provide important environmental benefits.

Castaneda : Trees block solar radiation from being absorbed into surfaces, helping keep communities like this one cool on blazing hot days.  They lessen dryness in climates by releasing moisture through leaves, and create wind barriers to help us save on winter heating costs.

Councilmember Castaneda helped resident Mariana Lopez plant the first tree in the giveaway. The program is funded by the Home Depot Foundation.

For KPBS, I'm Andrea Hsu.

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