Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Boy Scouts help plant trees in Santa Monica

A boy scout troop.
A boy scout troop.

Boy Scouts are famously prepared. They can also get things done. Due in part to one aspiring to be an Eagle Scout, 19 of what hopes to be 1,000 new trees have been planted in the city of Santa Monica.

17-year-old Boy Scout Josh Lappen, in the process of earning that Eagle Scout status, looked to fulfill his community service requirement. Wanting to do something for the environment, he reached out to a local state park to offer free manual labor. With budget cuts so deep that there was no one to answer his call, Lappen eventually found his way to City Forester Walt Warriner.

As reported in the Santa Monica Daily Press, Warriner connected the ambitious Boy Scout with a pilot program the city recently started with the United States Forest Service. With the goal of earning “carbon credits” by planting 1,000 trees, the city had everything they needed to get the program off the ground, including tress and space. They just needed someone to help start planting them. That’s where Lappen and his team of volunteers (including his Boy Scout Troop 2) came in.

"This project was completely up my alley," Lappen told the Daily Press. "It was everything I could have thought of, wanted or dreamed of in a planting project."

On National Arbor Day, (April 28th), Lappen and his crew began planting the 19 California sycamore trees in a previously untended asphalt lot along Michigan Avenue at 22nd Street in Santa Monica. The trees should reach heights of 20 or 30 feet in ten years, with officials set to monitor their progress over the next century.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this post mistakenly inferred that the Boy Scouts planted 1000 trees. In reality, the trees they planted are part of a larger program with the goal of planting that many trees in order to earn carbon credits from the United States Forest Service.