Although there's an oak in Oakley's name and in its city logo, and a bunch of metallic oak leaves hangs from the cupola at City Hall, there aren't a lot of oak trees in Oakley. But city officials are planning or should that be planting? to change that, thereby converting Oakley into oak land.
The goal of the recently launched 1,000 Oak Tree Program is to plant that many trees by July of 2009 to commemorate Oakley's 10th anniversary as a city. Officials kicked off the program on Arbor Day, March 15, by planting 100 oak trees at Laurel Ball Fields.
Aiding the effort were Liberty High School Regional Occupational Program (ROP) horticulture students, the Antioch Church of Christ Youth Group and Oakley residents.
The tree planting was preceded at the March 11 City Council meeting by the reading of a proclamation declaring Arbor Day in Oakley. The proclamation document was given to James Kotch, who teaches the ROP horticulture class at Liberty, and one of his students.
I just want to thank the city of Oakley for this opportunity for our ROP horticulture class to participate in a wonderful Arbor Day celebration, said Kotch. We are so happy to be able to grow trees for Oakley. Let's grow some trees and plant them.
Our ROP class is composed of students in special education. The focus of the class is not only to teach horticulture and basic gardening principles but also to instill the work ethic in our young students as they get ready to leave school and go into other jobs in the community. It's an opportunity for them to learn some hands-on skills and give back to the community. We thank you again for this opportunity.
Although they made a good start a couple weeks ago, officials still have oodles of oaks to go to reach the 1,000-tree goal. They are asking residents to help plant trees on their private property and in city parks, and are making it easy to do so by providing small trees and seedlings for sale at City Hall, along with an instruction pamphlet.
The suggested donation for a small tree is $7.50; $4 for a seedling. The trees, which can grow 40 feet high and 25 feet wide, need to be planted in the cooler months and watered to insure their longevity.
Each resident or community group planting trees will be entered into the city's Historic Register so that future residents will know where the 1,000 oaks were planted.
For more information, contact Leeann Lorono at 925-625-7011 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.