Seventy volunteers from SoCalGas, City Plants, the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, and the Los Angeles Conservation Corps joined Councilwoman.

A beautification project in Sylmar has taken root with the planting 35 new trees at Sylmar Recreation Center in the San Fernando Valley.

Seventy volunteers from The Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), City Plants, the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, and the Los Angeles Conservation Corps spent Saturday, May 26, digging, creating space and planting the young trees. Residents who attended also received free trees to take home and plant on their properties.

In addition, SoCalGas provided $24,000 to pay for the full cost of the trees, including planting and two summers of watering and establishment maintenance.

SoCalGas officials, whose company has taken various public hits for its handling of the gas leaks at the Aliso Canyon underground storage facility in Porter Ranch that first started in 2015 — and was widely reported as the worst single natural gas leak in U.S. history in terms of its environmental impact — said they were committed to giving back to the communities that the company serves.

“SoCalGas is committed to helping create a greener and healthier Los Angeles,”

said Andy Carrasco, director of regional public affairs at SoCalGas. “Planting trees in our local communities can make a big impact; not only are they beautiful, but they can also help clean our air, improve our health, and provide cooling shade in our neighborhoods.”

“City Plants is committed to growing a greener future for Los Angeles by planting and caring for trees,” said Elizabeth Skrzat, executive director of City Plants. “Growing a green canopy to shade our parks is so important, particularly in hot areas like the San Fernando Valley; trees act like living air conditioners, so that people can find refuge on even the hottest of days.”

Mike Schull, general manager of the Department of Recreation and Parks, said “The environmental longevity and livelihood of a community is measured through the state of trees and the green spaces that surround them. The Department of Recreation and Parks is committed to the sustainability of the City through planting and caring for trees that positively contribute to everyone’s quality of life.”

Los Angeles City Councilmember Monica Rodriguez, who participated in the ceremonies, said, “We all can play a role to help rebuild the City’s urban canopy and green our neighborhoods.”