RCPC Works With RDA on Tree Costs

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Thanks to a collaboration between the Rockridge Community Planning Council (RCPC) and the Rockridge District Association (RDA), we have been able to plant 14 new trees in our neighborhood. Just in time for the recent Earth Day.

You may have noticed a number of empty tree wells as you strolled the neighborhood on either College or adjoining side streets. With the generous donation of $5,000 from the RCPC as well as RDA funds, we were able to replace one tree that had died and fill 13 vacant tree wells, new saplings that join 15 trees planted in past years. This is part of this year's $30,000 budget set aside for maintenance and beautification of College Avenue. All of these improvements make Rockridge a more pleasant place to be.

The RDA has become steward of the trees here in our district not by choice but by necessity. Over the past years many limbs have come crashing down causing damage, fortunately only to vehicles. This is partly due to budget cuts in Oakland's tree trimming and maintenance department. The department has been restricted to emergency service only on a city-wide basis due to lower staffing. By maintaining the existing trees, we improve their health and viability, and by eliminating hazard limbs, we afford better safety for pedestrians. This work does not come cheap; this is our second go-round trimming and planting along with tree well enhancements. We've hit the $60,000 mark.

This work is made possible because Rockridge merchants and RDA members voted to form a Business Improvement District, known as a BID, in the year 2000. BID members are assessed a fee on a sliding scale based on sales tax revenue to the city of Oakland. These funds are then returned to the RDA, a 501(c)(3) organization, to help manage and improve the quality of the district. Unlike a tax, 100 percent of this assessment is returned to the district and is used for advertising to help bring folks to the Avenue; new banners; holiday decorations; and our special events, to name a few uses for the funds. We are committed and working to keep moving our neighborhood forward.

So, from the Rockridge District Association and the Rockridge Community Planning Council, enjoy a stroll around the neighborhood, enjoy the trees and all else College Avenue has to offer. Help support your local merchants in keeping Rockridge one of the most successful districts Oakland has to offer.