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Save Our Forest celebrates 30th anniversary

FALLBROOK – Save Our Forest volunteers and donors gather annually to highlight the achievements of the past year, and to recognize the Volunteer of the Year. This was a special year celebrating 30 years of developing Fallbrook's Treescape Project as a committee of the Fallbrook Land Conservancy.

In those 30 years, 17 grants totaling $244,585 brought 2800 trees to the community. They enhance the streets and byways in the greater Fallbrook area, while creating energy saving shade, pedestrian friendly shopping with benches to rest on and, at the same time, provide for a more healthful environment long before concerns about climate developed.

The highlight of the afternoon was the presentation of the Volunteer of the Year award for 2023. Jim Lyle was honored for his dedication of so many years to this worthwhile project. Remembering his consistency in supporting the ongoing requirements of tree maintenance, and his knowledge and ability to see and envision the proper pruning needs for each individual tree are talents that are indeed rare and so valuable.

Other special guests attending the party that afternoon were Roger Boddaert and Mark Wisniewski. Boddaert worked diligently for Fallbrook starting with the very first community venture, saving ancient oak trees marked for destruction on Live Oak Park Road in 1993. The efforts of Boddaert and residents working through the San Diego Traffic Advisory Committee saved all but two of the 19 marked.

Then, at the first Tree Festival in 1996, he facilitated planting the first 110 trees in downtown Fallbrook. Wisniewski, a longtime friend and supporter who lives in Encinitas, is a Certified Arborist who champions SOF, led tree pruning seminars for Fallbrook residents and is a state-renowned expert witness.

Wisniewski particularly recalled Boddaert's work in spearheading the planting of 434 trees by 750 volunteers from all around Southern California at Los Jilgueros Preserve, the Fallbrook Land Conservancy's first land acquisition. Done in four hours, totaling 3,000 volunteer hours, it was one of the biggest tree plantings in California at that time.

SOF, a remarkable group, continues to maintain downtown tree, promote youth participation through teaching environmental education to develop caretakers for the future who will improve and enhance the downtown area of Fallbrook and surrounding areas going forward.

Submitted by Save Our Forest.


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