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Tree Planting Today at 1 p.m.

One of the most moving annual events at the Living Lab is happening this Sunday afternoon. December 2, at 1:00 pm — The Anna Costa Memorial Tree Planting. Over the years since the first Anna Costa tree planting here 18 years ago, the Living Lab has transformed from an urban wasteland to a natural sanctuary of hundreds of native trees. You are invited to be a part of this amazing legacy. You can plant in memory of someone who you have lost, or in support of this amazing community effort to give back to the natural world through love. This is a family friendly event.

Time: Sunday Dec 2, 1:00-4:00 pm

Weather: Cloudy and cool (mid-low 50’s)

Locations: The Living Lab: starts at the CES patio; moves to the Anna Costa Memorial Circle; planting is in three places in the southern half of the lab, ends at Arbor or at the CES, depending on weather.

What to Bring: Wear shoes for uneven and somewhat muddy trails, and have layers to keep you comfy as conditions change.

If you have them, please bring your own work gloves and digging tool– (such as a shovel, a maddock, or a pickax, etc.). If you don’t have these items, we have plenty to share.

What we’ll do: (1) CES Terrace: We form a big welcome circle. Anna’s dad, Steve Costa, convenes the gathering. This year’s Anna Costa Scholarship Award winner is introduced and honored. The award is given at the May award ceremony to the junior who has made the most significant contributions to the Living Lab. (2) Everyone processes down to the Anna Costa Memorial Circle, led by Anna’s young nieces and nephews. Inside the redwoods, Steve Costa leads a brief prayer ceremony in remembrance of Anna, as well as in honor of those beloved ones who’ve been lost in the past year. (3) We learn to plant and get organized to do it! (4) We plant in three areas of the Living Lab. (5) We go to the Arbor OR the CES (depending on the weather), for hot cider and cookies.

That’s all you need to know about this Sunday! I hope some of you can come, despite what a crazy hectic time this is!

Want to more about Anna and the story of this special event? Read on after these photos of a recent Anna Costa Tree Planting.

About Anna Costa and the Annual Tree Planting Ceremony

On a rainy morning in October of 1989, Anna Costa, a Bishop O’Dowd junior, was driving to school when her car skidded off the road, down a ravine.   She died.   She was 16 years old.   Her younger brother Josh was a passenger. He survived, thanks to a grove of trees rooted in the ravine, which blocked the car’s descent.  A couple of months later, on Anna’s birthday, her extended family, friends, and members of the O’Dowd community gathered to plant trees in a local park.  

Every year since, on the first Sunday in December, “Anna’s Tribe” gathers to honor their nature-loving Anna by planting trees. Over 29 years, thousands of trees have been planted, both in East Bay parks and in the Living Lab.

In addition to trees, the Costa Family funds the annual Anna Costa Memorial scholarship given to one or two O’Dowd juniors that have been most involved in Living Lab stewardship, and they also funded the Anna Costa Memorial Circle.


If you have questions or would like to RSVP, please send an email or text me.

Thank you!

Annie Prutzman cell: 510-703-4156

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