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Readers Ask: Where Is Our Urban Forest?

Corky Lang has the answer—as well as an update on the completion of the city's historical mural.

Is it hot enough for ya? I was thinking that what this city needs is more shade.

Back in April 2011, I wrote a column called . It dealt with the plan for the Urban Corps of San Diego County to plant 600 native-species trees along the state Route 94 corridor between Federal Boulevard and Lemon Grove Avenue. The project was scheduled to start in spring of this year.

By July readers started to ask if this was another Lemon Grove urban legend, so I e-mailed the project director to inquire about the status of the tree planting. Happily I can report our forest is on the way—it’s just running a little late. The city will still be getting its new look, with trees spread over 30 acres along the highway.

According to Urban Corps Communications Manager Klara T. Arter, areas where the trees will be planted are currently being flagged on state Route 94. This process involves DigAlert, to make sure the areas are safe for planting. You may have already seen crews there on and off. Once the flagging is complete, irrigation installation can commence and crews will be there regularly. Subsequently, tree planting will follow.

I don’t think we will be benefiting from the shade soon enough to save us from the current heat wave. Still, the greening of the Grove is about to begin. Hooray!

Another project that is temporarily on hold is the fifth and final part of the city’s historical mural. This section, “Modern Lemon Grove” by artists Janne LaValle and Kathleen Strzelecki, will contain at least 30 portraits of Lemon Grove notables, with an additional 60 human figures representing the wide diversity of the Grove. It was due to be installed about a year ago on the south wall of the, 3308 Main St.

Helen Ofield, of the Lemon Grove Historical Society, explained the delay: “We are within striking distance of the finish line—but Katy Strzelecki is recovering from difficult knee surgery and cannot stand on ladders, kneel, etc. We have a Plan B, and that is to dismantle the mural and set it up in sections at eye level so that she can complete those final few portraits. I can only guess the end of October at this point.”

Currently, of the mural have been completed and installed. The panels include: The World of the Kumeyaay, depicting the original inhabitants of the area; the Spanish conquest of the 16th century; the Mexican empire in the early 1800s; and the beginnings of the city around the turn of the last century.

The finished mural will be 65 feet wide with life-size characters, and will depict the history of Lemon Grove from antiquity to modern times.

The trees are coming, the mural is coming, and the city has broken ground on the . I have to say, sounds like the Grove has got it going on—finally.

James Davis August 15, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Cool! Thanks for the follow up Corky :)

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