In one day, volunteers throughout the Bay Area and the southern San Joaquin Valley will plant more than 1,700 trees in 20 locations, including 56 trees at the Boatwright Sports Complex in Concord.

To make the effort a reality, Concord needs 150 volunteers ready to roll up their sleeves and dig in.

"One hundred and fifty people will make it an easy day," said volunteer maintenance team leader Chris Llata.

The community tree planting is part of a campaign "Invest from the Ground Up," a project of the California Urban Forests Council. Its goal is to increase awareness and involvement in caring for community trees along with expanding the related benefits of trees.

Llata says when the 56 young trees that are planted in Concord mature they will provide shade, beauty and remove from the air 2.13 tons of carbon dioxide and 560 pounds of pollutants annually.

Llata says Concord was awarded a grant from the campaign sponsor to cover the cost of the trees, stakes and ties, but getting them in the ground needs the community's help.

He is asking people to visit the website or contact him and sign up in return for a T-shirt. Llata says he has shirts for children and adults.

"In exchange for a T-shirt, people can come out and enjoy planting trees," he says.

Volunteers will need to bring a shovel, gloves and a water bottle.

The main digging of holes for the trees will have been done by the city, but volunteers will need to clean out the hole before the tree is put in and staked.

Since November when notices first went out for participants in the volunteer plantings, the number of trees to be planted has grown from 1,200 to more than 1,700 and Llata says the number is still growing.

"The more people know about the wide range of ways that our trees, parks and green spaces benefit our communities, the more they'll support investing in them," reports Invest from the Ground Up.

Trees, parks and green spaces improve neighborhood appeal, increasing property values by an average of $8,870, and trees can reduce air conditioning costs up to 50 percent, according to the California Urban Forests Council.

Trees also increase business. The council reports that retailers in districts with trees receive 30 percent higher product rating, and businesses on treescaped streets have been found to bring in 20 percent more patronage.

A DAY TO PLANT
WHAT: Community Tree Planting
WHERE: Boatwright Sports Complex, Campus Drive and Alberta Way, Concord
WHEN: 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 15
VOLUNTEER INFORMATION: Chris.Llata@cityofconcord.org