Carefully crafted paintings created by local children and dozens of juvenile trees that will grow to be lush with shade were unveiled Tuesday during a celebration of a beautification project in Vista.
The city, Boys & Girls Club of Vista and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) gathered together as they shared the good news of the project’s completion. Vista Mayor Judy Ritter said the long-awaited project was a “labor of love that’s been in the works for years” made possible through collaboration.
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“On behalf of the city, I want to express our appreciation to the Boys & Girls Club and the San Diego Gas & Electric for their efforts in initiating and carrying out this community project,” Ritter said in a celebratory press conference.
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The community space, which is located near North Melrose Drive and Olive Avenue, now has 90 trees planted in the area and 10 works of art made by children. The 4-foot-by-4-foot paintings are centered around sightings that can be found around Vista, such as beautiful butterflies, rich agriculture and inspirational messages.
Uleena Torres, a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Vista who worked on the paintings, said she was happy to be a part of the project because it gave her a creative outlet.
“The pandemic was really hard for me because there really wasn’t much to do so painting was helping me be more productive in doing stuff instead of just sitting down and doing nothing,” Torres said.
All 10 paintings have been installed in frames mounted on fencing at the space.
Drought-tolerant trees like rhus, oaks and hummingbird trees were planted in the area as part of SDG&E’s effort to plant 10,000 trees a year.
“The trees are beautiful, and they’re going to grow and get bigger, provide a lot of shade,” Ritter said.
“This project is the culmination of many months of work, dedication and perseverance by all the partners involved,” Brittany Applestein Syz, SDG&E’s director of environmental services and sustainability, said in a statement. “Kudos to the Boys & Girls Club and local kids for completing this beautiful community project despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.”