Organization planting trees through downtown Bakersfield

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - There's a welcome change taking place in downtown Bakersfield.  A California group is helping invest in the future by making the city a little greener.

Trees are being planted through out downtown Bakersfield in an effort to improve air quality and eventually help the local economy grow.

There are plenty of benefits to planting trees.

"From creating beautiful inviting environments in neighborhoods to cleaning the air and providing shade," said Sonali Shay of the California Urban Force Council.

Volunteers with the Tree Foundation of Kern hope planting them not only improves the look of downtown, but helps bring in more visitors.

"There's been a lot of research that shows trees help increase business sales up 20 percent.  They increase property values for homeowners, which is also up twenty percent," she said.

The group started planting trees as part of a project called Invest From the Group Up.  Volunteers started planting them about a month ago with a $9,000 grant.  A total of 24 have been planted so far in downtown.

"It takes quite of work because ther'es a lot of shoveling and heavy lifting and maintaining," said Melissa Iger of the Tree Foundation of Kern.

The project aims to educate and raise awareness about trees and its impact on communities everywhere.

"We have gotten so much positive feedback, peole love it.  It's brought the community together and everybody seems happy and I love that," said Iger.

The Downtown Business Association is set to employee residents from the Mission to help plant even more trees down the road.


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