The City of South Pasadena is known as “The City of Trees” and is an official “Tree City USA” because of its beautiful canopy of urban forest. The South Pasadena Library Park is home to no less than 21 different species of trees. Two celebrations of trees, one right after the other, will be taking place in the Library Park on Thursday, January 24 starting at 4 p.m. the northeast corner of Library Park. The public is invited and all are welcome.
At 4 pm, an Englemann Oak will be planted in honor of Councilmember Richard D. Schneider, MD’s 2018 term as Mayor. Remarks by Mayor Marina Khubesrian MD, City Manager Stephanie DeWolfe, and, of course, Councilmember Richard D. Schneider, MD will be part of the planting ceremony, as will photo opportunities.
The Englemann Oak, (Quercus engelmaniii), is a species of white oak native to Southern California and northwestern Baja California, Mexico. The species is also called Pasadena Oak and considered endangered, partly because San Gabriel Valley suburban sprawl has eliminated many of the trees.
Traditionally, each year the outgoing Mayor is provided a gift. This year, last year’s Mayor, Councilmember Richard D. Schneider, MD has agreed to have a tree planted in his honor instead of receiving a gift. As the tree provides a lasting positive impact on the community, it symbolizes the ongoing impact of each Mayor’s tenure. Going forward, each outgoing Mayor will be able to select the location and species of tree to be planted in their honor and a small plaque will be attached.
At 4:15 pm, a celebration will be conducted for “The Library Tree”—the gigantic Moreton Bay Fig that was added to the Historic Landmark Register by the City Council in December 2018. The ceremony will take place on the west side of Library Park, near Diamond Street. Remarks will be offered by Mayor Marina Khubesrian, MD; Mark Gallatin, Chair of the Cultural Heritage Commission; Steven Lawrence, President of the Preservation Foundation; David Uwins, President of the Library Board of Trustees; Bill Kloezeman, son of Willem Kloezeman who planted the tree about 80 years ago; and Poet Laureate Ron Koertge who will read a poem. The event will conclude with an acoustic guitar and singing performance by Goh Kurosawa. During the event, acclaimed artist Pete Morris will create a painting of the Library Tree in real time. Pete’s artwork is currently on display in the entryway area of the Library and at Kaldi Coffee across the street. Special thanks to South Pasadena Beautiful.