Golden Hill will soon be shadier thanks to the latest tree-planting efforts carried out by the Balboa Park Conservancy as part of its urban forest initiative with the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department. On August 22, neighbors and volunteers joined dignitaries, including San Diego District 3 Councilmember Chris Ward, to plant the last of the 69 new trees to run along 28th Street in Balboa Park.

Comprising 16 different species, the new trees feature several varieties of pine, oak, jacaranda, camphor, and pink trumpet trees. The tree varieties were specially chosen for this location for the many environmental benefits they provide.

Urban Corps of San Diego worked with the Conservancy and Parks and Recreation to plant the trees that, when fully grown, will provide shade for park visitors, contribute to the implementation of the city’s Climate Action Plan, and beautify the park. At this special event to plant the 10 remaining trees, Urban Corps was assisted by volunteers from the Golden Hill neighborhood who received training and support from Tree San Diego.

Kicking off the ceremonial planting, Balboa Park Conservancy CEO Tomás Herrera-Mishler said to the youth present, “We’re really doing this for you, and we hope you’ll do the same for your children.” He also noted that the recent Conservancy audit of every tree in Balboa Park found that 20 percent of the park’s more than 15,000 trees are dead or dying and will need to be replaced.

To help restore the park’s depleted tree canopy, the Conservancy launched Tree Balboa Park last summer, a massive reforestation project to plant 500 trees within Balboa Park over two years, after securing a $378,297 state grant from CAL FIRE. The state singled out Tree Balboa Park for its urban forest expansion and improvement initiative funded through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF). To date, more than 200 new trees have been planted at strategic locations throughout the park with the help of our partners: Parks and Recreation (which made a sizeable in-kind donation toward these efforts), Urban Corps, Tree San Diego, and our volunteer tree stewards.

Councilmember Ward commended the Conservancy and Parks and Recreation for quickly addressing the neighborhood request to plant more trees along 28th Street, highlighting that, in addition to providing shade and clean air, the new trees will eventually help shield homes and cars from errant golf balls from the nearby public golf course.