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“Harbor Arbor Day” to Green Parts of Long Beach

Harbor Board Gives Nod to New Green Port Program

February 21, 2006

A six-year urban reforestation program to improve neighborhoods along the Long Beach (710) Freeway transportation corridor was given preliminary approval by the Board of Harbor Commissioners on Monday, February 13.

The Board approved $400,000 for the first two phases of the Port of Long Beach’s multi-year Harbor Arbor Day Program. The initial projects are scheduled to begin this spring. The program intends to help offset some of the impacts of Port operations, such as traffic noise and air pollution, in neighboring communities.

The projects will provide trees, shrubs and other sustainable landscaping to enhance air quality, reduce noise, decrease summer temperatures and beautify neighborhoods surrounding the 710 Freeway, one of the primary transportation corridors for goods movement at the Port of Long Beach. 

“Two key elements of our Green Port Policy are community outreach and environmental sustainability,” said Harbor Commission President Doris Topsy-Elvord. “This program brings both of those elements together.”

The Port’s Community Relations and Government Affairs Division worked with multiple city and community groups to develop a list of 12 Harbor Arbor Day projects to be implemented during the next six years. The project sites include four elementary schools, four parks, two “open spaces” owned by the City of Long Beach, the Wrigley Green Belt and the Los Angeles River Bike Trail.

A kick-off celebration for the first set of projects will be held to coincide with Arbor Day weekend, April 28-29, 2006.

According to Plant-It 2020, a nonprofit tree-planting foundation, urban reforestation projects have been shown to absorb dust, particulates, ozone, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and other pollutants. The projects also increase commercial and residential property values, prevent soil erosion, provide habitats for birds, squirrels and other wildlife, act as sound buffers, and provide cooler summer temperatures and warmer winter temperatures.

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