Friends of Martin Engel plan to carry on his work by setting up a memorial fund to plant trees in the city.
Engel, 78, was killed Friday when his car collided with a van as he pulled out of the Home Depot parking lot at Golden West Street and Edinger Avenue.
For the past two years, Engel had led a campaign to plant flowers and trees to beautify the Huntington Harbour community where he lived for 30 years, neighbor Mary Lund said.
The day he was killed, Engel's car was filled with potted flowers he had just bought at Home Depot to plant in his Humboldt Island neighborhood, Lund said.
The Martin Engel Memorial for Trees is a fitting tribute to Engel for all the volunteer work he did to beautify the island, Lund said. Donations will be used to buy trees to plant along Saybrook Lane and Edinger Avenue, near the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station.
Lund said she started a neighborhood project in 1993 to replace trees that were sending roots under sidewalks and gutters along Humboldt Island parkways, causing them to buckle.
More than 100 queen palm trees have been planted, she said.
Each homeowner was asked to contribute $125 toward the cost to remove an old tree and plant a new queen palm tree, she said.
For those residents who didn't participate for whatever reason, Lund said, Engel stepped in and paid for trees. After that, she said, he began planting flowers as well, "on every corner and in people's yards. If he thought you needed flowers in your yard, he'd plant flowers in your yard."
Lund said Engel's efforts has made "our community a more beautiful place to live."
Donations may be sent to the Huntington Harbour Property Owners' Assn., P.O. Box 791, Sunset Beach, CA 90742.
Checks should be made to the Huntington Harbour Property Owners' Assn. and specify that the money is to be used for the Martin Engel Memorial for Trees.