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Manteca Garden adds to the count
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ROSE ALBANO RISSO/Bulletin correspondent Deven Goodwin of the Manteca Parks and Recreation Department, left, and Manteca Garden Club member Tom Powell plant one of three 15-gallon trees at Woodward Park Thursday in celebration of Arbor Day.

Woodward Park’s tree inventory grew by three this week, thanks to the donation made by the Manteca Garden Club. 

The 15-gallon oak, Chinese pistache, and elm varieties were planted on the west side of Manteca’s 40-acre park along Buena Vista Drive to mark the national Arbor Day celebration on Thursday.

The trees will add not only colorful foliage in autumn but very welcome summer shade as well to this section of the park that clearly lacks these amenities.

“We’re trying to fill this side in (with trees),” Manteca Parks Maintenance superintendent Cody Ross said of the city’s ongoing plan for this newest park south of the 120 Bypass.

“I was going to ask for 50 trees,” he added jokingly about the garden club’s donation.

The group, which was founded in the 1950s making it one of the oldest civic organizations in the Family City, has been actively pursuing projects every year that contributes to the beautification of various public places. The landscaping around the Manteca Public Library on West Center Street that includes crepe myrtle trees on the west side of the building as well as others that offer colorful fall foliage along Center Street is an example of the club’s contributions that help beautify the city.

Other city parks’ tree inventory also includes several donations made by the club through the years, some of which were planted in memory of members who have passed on.

The organization has become a partner of the city in the annual celebration of Arbor Day.

“We do different projects in different parks,” said Tom Powell who was one of the three club members who were present for the ceremonial tree planting at Woodward Park.

Thanks to such organizations as the Manteca Garden Club and the Manteca Rotary, which donated 100 trees last year to mark its centennial celebration, Manteca has maintained its national recognition as a Tree City USA for 28 years in a row.

The Family City has since come a long way in the fall-foliage viewing department, thanks to the city’s aggressive and enthusiastic tree program. As of 2013, the Family City is home to approximately 17,000 trees – and counting. Ross did not have the latest total number of trees in Manteca.