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VALLEY FOCUS | Studio City

Riverbanks Get New Trees for Earth Day

April 20, 1998|TOM BECKER

The banks of the Los Angeles River near Valleyheart Drive and behind Jerry's Famous Deli will be planted with 68 trees Wednesday, Earth Day, as part of the county's river beautification project.

All the work will be done by volunteers, and most of the materials have been donated. Officials expect the entire cost to the county to be little more than the $2,400 spent to purchase the 34 sycamore and 34 rhuslanceria trees, said Jean Granucci, a spokeswoman for the county.

"This just goes to show what can happen when businesses, government and residents get involved in beautifying their community," she said. "It's a wonderful project."

It's the second year the county has undertaken a mass planting of the riverbanks with the help of the community. It's also one of the most effective ways for the county to accomplish its goal of beautifying the area, organizers said, since the projects are so inexpensive.

This year, the 1,500-foot section west of Whitsett Avenue was selected because of its scenic location and need for trees, Granucci said. "It really lent itself to the project," she said.

However, the area's selection was not without controversy.

Some residents felt the county should concentrate its efforts on an area that is more visible and, in turn, would be more appreciated by the community.

"I questioned the selection of the location because it's on a street behind businesses facing a golf course," said Tony Lucente, president of the Studio City Residents Assn.

Lucente had expressed his concerns to county officials, but it was too late. The county had received all the necessary permits to do the planting.

Even with his reservations, Lucente said he and other members of the association support the project and intend to participate, shovel in hand.

In fact, Granucci said the county is seeking volunteers to help on Earth Day. Anyone interested should attend the opening ceremony at 9 a.m. on Valleyheart Drive.

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