April 13 is when Earth Day and Arbor Day are celebrated. In Santa Clara, for the past 31 years the day has had more meaning as it’s been the day the National Arbor Day Foundation recognizes the City of Santa Clara with a Tree City USA award. The award recognizes the City for its dedication in maintaining the City’s urban forest of trees as well as educating residents about their importance.
As with past Arbor Days, this year’s Arbor Day was no small event. Nearly 40 booths lined the path around the Pavilion at Central Park with vendors teaching elementary and kindergarten students from five schools (Briarwood, Central Park, Haman, Pomeroy and Saint Clare) about how to make a bird feeder with nothing more than Cheerios breakfast cereal and a pipe cleaner (presented by the Santa Clara Library Bookmobile) and how to protect the watershed in the Bay Area (presented by the Watershed Watch Campaign presented by the Santa Clara Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program).
The students also did experiments by Mad Science of the Bay Area and viewed displays by the Santa Clara Fire and Police Departments, including the Drug Abuse Resistance Education car, and the Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority.
Santa Clara’s own blues and jazz legend, Ike Cosee, also entertained event goers, plus later in the day, Cosee let children play his guitar and make up their own songs.
The day kicked off with Central Park Elementary School’s Third Grade Class performing “This Pretty Planet” and Central Park’s Ukulele Club, as well as a science show performed by Mad Science of the Bay Area.
“The City’s Arbor Day/Earth Day is an annual event and tremendous opportunity for students and adults alike to learn about the Earth and what we can do to protect it and live in a sustainable matter,” said Santa Clara resident, Heidi Carlin. “I love coming to this event and love how it’s evolved over the years.”