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June 24
1980 - Saugus Train Station relocated to Hart Park, Newhall [story]
Saugus Train Station


Ken StriplinNurturing Greenery, Cultivating Community

Whether you’re exploring the trails in our vast open spaces, enjoying time in any of our 38 parks or simply driving through the community, Santa Clarita stands out from the rest. Unlike other cities, our streets, parks and public areas are beautified by an array of trees, adding to the unique charm and natural beauty of our City. Behind the scenes, a dedicated team of arborists and specialists work hard to maintain this urban oasis, ensuring the health and vitality of the City’s trees while enriching the lives of our residents.

The Urban Forestry team cares for approximately 120,000 trees sprawled across the community, including 62 Landscape Maintenance District (LMD) Zones. The team’s duties encompass a wide variety of services, from addressing tree-related emergencies and evaluating tree health, to responding to public inquiries. Planting, pruning and nurturing trees along streets, parks and other City rights-of-way are integral tasks undertaken by this team, ensuring a beautiful landscape for our residents.

The Urban Forestry team’s collective expertise includes certified arborists accredited by the International Society of Arboriculture, tree trimmers and highly specialized coordinators. In 2023, the Urban Forestry team trimmed 15,474 trees, planted 251 new plants and responded to 436 tree-related emergencies in the City. The team also addressed 2,765 tree-related service requests from residents.

For the past 34 years, the City has been recognized with the Tree City USA award which is a testament to our commitment to urban forestry excellence. According to Tree City USA, trees help absorb the sounds of traffic in urban areas by 40 percent and neighborhoods with trees are seven to nine degrees cooler than those without. By investing in our trees, we can work to provide residents with green space throughout our community.

Just last month, the Santa Clarita City Council partnered with the Urban Forestry team and local volunteers to plant a ceremonial tree for the annual Arbor Day celebration. This event took place at Valencia Heritage Park where participants planted an African Fern Pine, chosen for its resilience in our climate as well as the evergreen canopy which will compliment the park’s deciduous trees that lose their leaves in the winter. Additionally, City staff distributed mulch and drought-resistant plants to residents participating in the Neighborhood Clean-Up event, which promotes sustainable landscaping practices.

Included in the City’s 2025 Strategic Plan, is the Citywide Reforestation Program which aims to replace aging trees, install new greenery and enhance tree care infrastructure across our community. The Urban Forestry team closely collaborates with other City divisions to preserve trees adjacent to construction sites and integrate greenery into urban development projects, ensuring a harmonious balance between nature and progress.

As a City that takes pride in protecting our environment and beautifying our community, the Urban Forestry team works each day to provide excellent customer service and resources to our residents and local businesses. For more information or to get into contact with our Urban Forestry team, please visit SantaClarita.gov/UrbanForestry or call (661) 290-2200.

Ken Striplin is the city manager for the city of Santa Clarita and can be reached at kstriplin@santaclarita.gov.

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1 Comment

  1. Daniel K says:

    Hi Ken, I always read your piece in SCV News, and all are informative and very interesting, I enjoyed reading this article and I think every resident of Santa Clarita would love to see more trees and green field in the city, I live in a community north of McBean right around Copper Hill intersection, going North or North-East in McBean is so beautiful (thanks to the city) BUT, there is one section in both sides of McBean around couple of hundreds feet right by the electric poles that they lack any tree and make that section of McBean very odd compare to the area!?, Do you know why they did not plan any tree in that area?, is it possible to consider planning some trees in these locations? Thank you for the article.
    Regards Daniel

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