Learning how to save money, stay cool, improve property value and a fun day in the sun; that’s what our Invest From the Ground Up campaign brought to Santee, California.

In April and May of this year, Invest From the Ground Up joined with local partners (the City of Santee, Santee Lakes, San Diego Gas & Electric, Urban Corps of San Diego County and the San Diego Regional Urban Forests Council, San Diego County Water Authority, and West Coast Arborists) to share with Santee residents why it makes sense to invest from the ground up in your community’s trees.

It turns out trees are one of the cheapest, most effective actions a homeowner can take to control energy costs and property values. It takes just $10* a year to water a tree in San Diego and reap its many benefits, including shade and energy savings. Not to mention the amazing non-quantifiable benefits of aesthetics and beauty that more trees bring a community. Learn more about water-wise tree watering.

On Saturday May 4th, in conjunction with our amazing team of local partners, we hosted a workshop and tree planting event at Santee Lakes. This fantastic Earth Day celebration combined learning and community engagement.

2013-05-04 08.20.29We started the event with delicious breakfast treats including a selection of bagels, medley of fruit and beverages and a visit from Smokey Bear. Thirty-two residents attended the main workshop which included presentations by Gina Molise – Senior Public Affairs Representative at the San Diego County Water Authority on San Diego County’s water supply; Mike Palat of the San Diego Regional Urban Forests Council on the benefits of trees and wise watering techniques; and Annette Saul – City of Santee’s Parks and Landscape Supervisor on Santee’s Neighborhood Tree planting program on how to get a free street tree for your home.

The workshop was a success and survey results showed that by the end almost everyone felt they could afford to take care and water a tree. Most people responded that they better understood the value trees bring to their neighborhoods, and there was positive movement in the belief that Santee needs more trees to create healthier neighborhoods.

Invest from the Ground Up (52)The workshop was immediately followed by a tree planting demonstration and planting of 30 trees of six different species around the park. We concluded the event with a raffle of fun prizes from local businesses and the partners. Santee resident, Linda LaFond, was the lucky winner of the $100 Home Depot Gift Card grand prize.

Thank you to all our partners and workshop participants for the amazing day. And special thanks to Santee Lakes for offering free admission to the park, and Urban Corps and Santee Lakes who hosted a special workshop just for kids!

PS. If you didn’t make it to the event, it’s not too late to sign up for a FREE street tree courtesy of the City of Santee!