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Drive-thru tree giveaway in Downey

Mayor+Blanca+Pacheco+stands+with+Catherine+Alvarez%2C+volunteers+and+girl+scouts+after+finishing+planting+a+Japanese+maple+tree+at+Downey+city+hall.+Photo+credit%3A+Silas+Bravo
Mayor Blanca Pacheco stands with Catherine Alvarez, volunteers and girl scouts after finishing planting a Japanese maple tree at Downey city hall. Photo credit: Silas Bravo

In light of Arbor Day, the Downey City Council hosted a drive-thru giveaway on April 23 at City Hall, 11111 Brookshire Ave, where they distributed fruit trees for residents to plant.

From 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., the city council allowed participants to drive through the roundabout in their parking lot to choose from five different types of trees to take home; Supplies ran out within two hours of the event.

The five trees available were apricot, plum, pomegranate, nectarine and peach trees.

Every year, Downey hosts an event in light of Arbor Day. This year, hosting was left in charge of the city’s Public Works Department.

Acting as part of the city’s monthly One Day of Service, officials and community members were encouraged to take part in specific projects throughout the day to give back to their community alongside obtaining a fruit tree from the giveaway.

At the event, shirts and hoodies were given to participating residents and community members as a token of gratitude for taking part in celebrating Arbor Day.

A variety of food and drinks were also provided for enjoyment in a designated dining area. This year, Porto’s Bakery and Panera Bread donated pastries, water and coffee in taking part in the special day.

Madeleine Pineda, Executive Secretary of the Department’s director, said that their team hopes to make the giveaway an annual event for the city.

“Time will only tell,” Beautification Coordinator for the city of Downey, Carol Rowland, said. “We will see from year to year but the event was well-received so we are hoping to make it an annual thing.”

Rowland is also a member of Keep Downey Beautiful, a clean-up group in the city who also help put on the event and has been part of the council for over 27 years.

Towards the end of the event, local girl scouts and Mayor Blanca Pacheco [of Downey] worked together to plant a Japanese maple tree which they later named ‘Maple.’

“That’s the great thing about living in Downey. The city, the city staff and the community all work together” said Rowland. “This is the tree that keeps on giving, it is symbolic of what we do.”

Throughout the entirety of the event, volunteers and coordinators kept a smile and positive attitude while handing out trees and connecting with the community; They stood bright in their orange shirts and neon vests to guide traffic through.

Chairs were set up at city hall to hear officials speak on behalf of Downey's One Day of Service.
Chairs were set up at city hall to hear officials speak on behalf of Downey’s One Day of Service and announce the tree giveaway as a new service for the program every April. Photo credit: Silas Bravo

In the midst of the tree giveaway, volunteers for the One Day of Service program worked on a variety of projects in the area; picking up trash, washing vandalized buildings and walls, planting and/or handing out trees, etc.

City Hall’s Arbor Day tree giveaway was recognized at their meeting in the morning and is said to now be a part of their service every April.

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About the Contributor
Silas Bravo, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Silas Bravo is the Arts & Entertainment Editor for Talon Marks. This is Silas’ third semester at Talon Marks. Silas plays football for the Cerritos Falcons and hopes to transfer to a University on an athletic scholarship. Silas loves everything sports and spending time with friends and family.
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Drive-thru tree giveaway in Downey