Photo by Jason Ruiz.
In honor of the chopped choral trees once overflowing with abundant greenery, Long Beach residents have organized a “Blessing of the Trees” tonight at Bluff Park at 7:30PM.
An Instagram post advertises the event, reading: “Are you Frustrated, Upset, or Angry? Then this event is for you.”
“When ever we gaze upon them, we will find Love and Gratitude in our hearts not frustration in our breath,” writes an individual with the username bohemian.chica in the post.
Together we’ll journey. Together we’ll heal. We have so much to be grateful for. The trees have shaded us for years and gave us their love. Now we will return the favor and bring them our blessings. Through this process we will heal ourselves and bring Love and Joy back to the park, back to trees and back to our whole being. Our goal from this event: When ever we gaze upon them, we will find Love and Gratitude in our hearts not frustration in our breath. Feel free to bring a small totem that is sacred to you. South West corner of Junipero & Ocean in Long Beach. Free Event #yogaonthebluff #meditate #peaceful #Ahimsa #love #blessingofthetrees #yogi #chanting #bluff #nature #community #weekend #om #LOVElongbeach #longbeach #california #trees #freshAir #hippielife #beachlife #kindlife #mantra #park #bixbypark
The Coral trees that provided shade to area yogis participating in Yoga on the Bluff for years were trimmed in dramatic fashion late last month, due to the dangers they posed to residents, with limbs falling off as the trees neared the end of their lifespan, according to city officials. The trimming prompted public outcry, as many were unaware the required trimming in the first place.
Mayor Robert Garcia posted a message in response, after being tagged in a number of posts expressing outrage at the essential removal of any shrubbery on the trees. He confirmed that a large branch had fallen from the tree, and said the city “didn’t do extensive outreach.”
“And as you can imagine, outreach is critical,” he posted. “[...] A discussion like this needs more input and discussion. I know our parks employees, they work very had and love our city and our trees. I’m committed to two things, 1) get all the info over the next few days and evaluate how these decisions were made so we can ensure that we are doing appropriate outreach and evaluation of the trees, and 2) work with the community, especially Dharma’s Yoga on the Bluff to save the trees or plant new ones. I’m pretty bummed about this because I love these trees.”
"With 100 to 120 people participating in the yoga program, there's a fine balance between the health of the tree and keeping residents safe," said Elvira Hallinan, the manager of the city's Marine Bureau of Parks and Recreation in an interview with the Post last month. "It was recommended we severely reduce the canopy so it's not so heavy on the limbs. Because of the weather [the risk of branches falling and trucks splitting is higher in hot weather], we couldn't delay much longer."
In fact, the coral trees at Bluff Park aren't the only ones dying. A report issued June 29 by the Long Beach City Auditor’s office noted that the state of the trees and parks in the city were found to be in dire need of maintenance and investment, as over one-fourth of the trees in the city are dead or considered in poor condition. The problem was partially attributed to a lack of human resources, due to an expansion of park space and static staffing levels
In her post, bohemian.chica encouraged participants to bring a small totem that is sacred to them to assist in the ceremony.
“The trees have shaded us for years and gave us their love. Now we will return the favor and bring them our blessings,” the post stated.