St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church Tree Planting

Written by Estero Bay News

March 11, 2022

Native trees were planted on property owned by St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church as part of grant to reduce greenhouse gasses and repurposing aging trees at the end of their life cycle. Photo submitted

Visitors and residents travelling east or west on Los Osos Valley Road will soon have their views enhanced by a grove of newly planted native trees on property owned by St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church at the corner of LOVR and Clark Valley Road. 

The project was two parts. The first, in January, involved planting fourteen trees including five Coast Live Oaks, five Monterey Cypress and four Island Oaks. 

The trees were planted by a crew of 30 enthusiastic volunteers representing the collective efforts of members of St. Benedict’s Earthcare Committee; the Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo (ECOSLO), and the Los Osos Valley Garden Club (LOVGC). The project was made possible by the Full Circle Grant awarded to ECOSLO and funded through an Urban and Community Forestry grant from CAL FIRE with a goal of reducing greenhouse gasses and repurposing aging trees at the end of their life cycle.  

The Full Circle project begins with a robust tree planting initiative spearheaded by ECOSLO. After a long life of sequestering carbon, the trees are salvaged and processed into beautiful furniture, keeping them out of the landfill and the carbon out of the atmosphere by the local business Deadwood Revival Design.  

Full Circle is a sustainable approach to utilizing urban lumber.

In February another crew of volunteers with the Los Osos Valley Garden Club successfully planted 36 native understory plants surrounding the trees, including California Lilac and California Currant, purchased through fundraising efforts and donations to the club. 

The plants will provide a natural, attractive setting to attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and other beneficial insects that will support the local ecology and help provide an important bridge to nearby remaining wildlands. Research shows that native wildlife clearly prefers native plants.  

An additional 16 native trees will be planted in the coming months on the western side of St. Benedict’s property, where three of the Coast Live Oaks were planted. “These trees will preserve neighbors’ sight lines and bring beauty to that part of the property,” organizers said.

The actual species are yet to be determined, but will also fulfill the Full Circle Grant’s requirements by capturing and turning CO2 into living carbon as food for trees to enhance our climate’s health. 

In addition, funding provided by donations from the church, ECOSLO, and a grant from the Los Osos Rotary Club will be utilized for the repair and extension of a permanent irrigation system to provide routine watering, allowing the plants and trees to be nurtured and thrive to the benefit of all. 

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