View Altadena Tree Planting Location Map in a larger map
Los Angeles County's plan to replace trees blown down in the November/December 2011 windstorm calls for most replacement trees to be planted on the east side of town. Altadenablog map.
by Timothy Rutt
Altadena Heritage says that the county's plan to replace trees lost in last year's windstorm heavily favors planting on the east side of town, leaving west Altadena "tree-deficient."
Michele Zack, a member of the town council's beautification committee and one of the leaders of Altadena Heritage, said that they would prefer more equitable distribution of the replacement trees, considering that Altadena west of Lake Avenue is "tree-deficient." Zack said they particularly wanted street trees -- trees that are in the parkway adjoining the street -- along the Woodbury Road corridor between Santa Anita and Arroyo/Windsor. Trees are being planted on the medians during improvement work this summer, but widening of Woodbury in the mid-1960's removed many street trees that were never replaced, Zack said.
Zack said that street trees along Woodbury Road, which she described as a "gateway to Altadena" with 25,000 car trips per day, would improve the appearance of a neighborhood that has largely been passed over for improvements in the years since the street was widened. The corridor is also planned to include a bikeway, and trees would help make the road, which is also the entrance to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a "beautiful parkway," Zack said.
The beautification committee gave a model letter to the town council last week, asking the county supervisors for more equitable distribution of new trees and an emphasis on the Woodbury corridor. Los Angeles County had offered $100,000 in grant money to replace trees lost in the November/December windstorm and plant new street trees. The council has not taken action on the letter.
In a list from the county provided to Altadenablog by Zack, 208 trees are allocated to different addresses in Altadena. Most addresses have one tree, but some have as many as four. As shown the the map above, the new plantings largely favor the area east of Lake Avenue. Only one new street tree is scheduled to be planted along the Woodbury corridor.
Zack said that the dichotomy is stark, considering that west Altadena has five census tracts, as opposed to three for the east side, and most Altadenans live on the west side.
"I'm not claiming there was any intent here," Zack said, but Altadena Heritage was concerned that resources seemed to be going toward "well-treed" neighborhoods.
We made calls to county officials who were either unavailable or in meetings at press time.
Zack said that "I would like to ask people to contact Supv. [Michael D.] Antonovich and their town council representatives, that we'd love to see more street trees west of Lake, especially in the Woodbury corridor ... there's nothing that gives you more bang for a buck than planting a tree."