Trees planted for MLK Jr. peace memorial

January 19, 2009 2:17:30 PM PST
A group of 200 volunteers will gather Monday to plant trees as a peace memorial for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at a memorial tree-planting event organized by Oakland nonprofit Urban Releaf.

Crawford Tuttle, chief deputy director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, espoused tree planting as a long-honored memorial tradition, a way of building community and enhancement to urban environments.

According to Tuttle, "Urban trees clean the air, improve water quality, provide cooling shade, and provide homes for wildlife."

The 80 trees planted during the memorial will "symbolize the continuity of Dr. King's message, particularly his message of peace, which he so powerfully communicated through his commitment to and teachings on nonviolence," Tuttle said in a prepared statement.

Tuttle is scheduled to speak at the tree-planting event, which will take place at 9:30 a.m. at 5319 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.