Six Sonoma Valley High School students have been hired by the Sonoma Ecology Center to implement a tree campaign called “Trees for the Springs.” The SEC’s teen “Enviroleaders” are working in partnership with County Superviser Susan Gorin, Laz Luz Center and the Springs Community Alliance to bring free trees to the community impacted by the new development of the Highway 12 corridor.

During the construction of the new sidewalks and roads on Sonoma Highway through Aqua Caliente and El Verano, several massive trees were removed. The teens have been working for months to encourage property owners to have free trees planted in their front yards to provide shade and beauty to the new corridor.

Over the last few weeks they’ve been fliering, postering and conducting site surveys on properties along Sonoma Highway looking for good tree-planting sites.

The trees can be selected by the property owners from a list of suitable species recommended by Sonoma Ecology Center staff. The trees will be delivered and planted by the teen trainees, who will learn landscape design and arborist skills, say Ecolocy Center officials. The only thing required of the residents is that they water the new tree until it is able to sustain itself.

“Our teens are excited to meet home and business owners and are looking for anyone that might be interested in their project,” explained Tony Passantino of SEC, who can be reached via email at or by phone at 996-0712.

“I love working with the Ecology Center and being able to make Sonoma a greater and greener place,” said Sonoma Valley High School freshman Alex Sperry. “Also being able to make a difference with the trees for the Springs project is awesome. This project brings the opportunity to influence the community to help make earth a better place.”

The winter 2017 Enviroleaders include Xixi Jimenez, 14; Jose Solorzano Infante, 14; Alex Sperry, 14; Cameron Baker, 17; Daniel Higareda, 14; and Kylee Minehan, 14.