The Civic Pride Committee marked the 57th celebration of the Plant-a-Tree project in Burbank with the annual Donor Awards Ceremony Thursday at Brace Canyon Park.
Community members who had made donations in honor of relatives and friends or in memory of those who had passed away received certificates in appreciation for their contributions. Donations are collected each March, which is Arbor Month.
In addition, Burbank has been named a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation for the 35th consecutive year, officials said. Burbank and the city of San Francisco are the only two cities in the state to have been recognized since the program’s inception.
Robert Vincent, chairman of the Civic Pride Committee, welcomed Mayor Jess Talamantes and more than 25 guests, Park, Recreation and Community Services and Forestry Services employees.
Talamantes gave a brief history of the program, which was started by the Women’s Council of Burbank who continued the program for 40 years. Civic Pride took the baton in 1996 and has continued the program for 17 years.
“This is a great way to bring people together in memory of our loved ones who have passed away,” he said. “I want to thank the Civic Pride Committee. We appreciate them doing this project and other things for the community.”
Funds donated to the Civic Pride program will go to finance the purchase and planting of trees in Brace Canyon Park, said Janice Bartolo, deputy director of the Park, Recreation and Community Services Department.
The reforestation at Brace is necessary due to the loss of trees that have reached their life expectancy, she said.
Gino Gaudio sang “The Star Spangled Banner” and a medley from “The Sound of Music,” which was a moving accompaniment for the hillside setting.