The Coast News Group
Danielle Grillo adds an ornament to a tree across from the former power plant site in Carlsbad. Courtesy photo
Community CommentaryOpinion

Commentary: Holiday ritual captures awareness of climate change in Carlsbad’s costal dead trees

Carlsbad neighbors know how to celebrate a climate change sensitive “Sustainable Holiday” with love.

Each year they decorate the now-dead coastal trees along Highway 101 with ornaments to help them continue to bring joy to the community — even after climate change and drought have ended their lives.

“It’s a lovely tradition where neighbors independently add decorations, and it’s gone on for several years,” says Danielle Grillo, who is visiting her grandparents from her new home in Spain. She wanted to do the decorating again and started her part in this festive holiday tradition just after Thanksgiving.

Many parents bring an ornament for their children to add to the trees. This provides a context in which they can talk with their children about the climate-impact actions their children can take to ameliorate climate change and adapt to its impacts — if we are to continue to make this a beautiful Carlsbad and planet.

Many of the skeleton trees were well over 100 years old when they were killed by the draught. Yet the decorations thrill those who make what for many has become a traditional walk from the former power plant site, south along Carlsbad Boulevard (aka Route 101) to the north end of South Carlsbad State Beach.

It’s a joyous ritual where these decorated trees stand as a flagship of community happiness, says Danielle, and it’s sure better than cutting down a breathing and air-cleaning live tree to decorate.

Leave a Comment