By Madeline Collins
Ocean Avenue just got a little greener.
About 40 volunteers planted nearly two dozen trees on March 16 around the mile-long commercial corridor that runs along Ocean Avenue from the 280 off-ramp near City College’s Ocean campus to Manor Drive.
Friends of the Urban Forest helped organize and run the event, which was paid for by the Ocean Avenue Association.
“This is a huge turnout,” Urban Forest Executive Director Dan Flanagan said to the volunteers before the planting. “I’m so excited to see so many people here.”
Ocean Avenue Association Executive Director Dan Weaver brought in Friends of the Urban Forest, which executes at least two neighborhood plantings a month in San Francisco, to plan the tree planting. Weaver said it is the association’s responsibility to clean, maintain and improve Ocean Avenue.
“I can’t think of anything better than landscaping the street,” Weaver said.
Volunteer Cynthia Dimapasoc, store manager of the Ocean Avenue Walgreens, brought along 16 additional Walgreens employees to volunteer.
“We like to have a positive contribution to the community,” said Pure Panambo, a pharmacy manager at Walgreens.
Heidi Lakics, who has been the planting manager for Friends of the Urban Forest for over five years, said that this was her seventy-fifth tree planting.
“I always wanted to have a job where I can have a positive impact on the environment as well as have a sense of community,” Lakics said.
Her job fulfills both goals. Lakics said she feels an instant gratification seeing all of the volunteers working together planting the tree.
Amy Craven of San Francisco government’s Bureau of Urban Forestry, and a City College of San Francisco alumna, said the bureau works closely with Friends of the Urban Forest and supports the organization’s work. She also worked on an Arbor Day celebration where they organized about 500 volunteers to plant over 85 trees.
Volunteers broke into groups and worked enthusiastically. They carried tools and trees along Ocean Avenue and quickly planted trees and built supports around them.
“One of the reasons I got involved was because I wanted to get more formal education about trees,” volunteer Tom Long said. He said he wanted to learn more about the environments and soils in which different trees grow and thrive.
This story was produced in collaboration with The Ingleside Light.