Lions keep busy serving community

The Seal Beach Lions Club is at it again—serving the community.

The club, which is one of the city’s longest running service groups has been very busy; so much so that the local chapter was recently honored for its various projects and events.

For example, the Seal Beach Lions Club’s annual Fish Fry was named the most outstanding service event by a California Lions Club for 2011. The award was presented on Feb. 4 at the annual California Lions Convention in Ontario.  In addition, the Seal Beach Lions Graffiti Removal project was also nominated as one of the top three most significant community service projects of the year.

Seal Beach Lions also took honors as the #1 Lions Club in California for membership growth. The club recently inducted its 200th member and became the state’s largest Lions Club.

More than 20 Lions from Seal Beach attended the convention representing the more than 21,000 Lions in California.

Despite the accolades, the Seal Beach Lions are keeping as busy as ever.

“The club has been challenged (by Lions Club International) to plant 1 million trees worldwide,” said Seal Beach Lion Laura Ellsworth. “We in Seal Beach are trying to plant approximately one tree per member.”

That would equal 125 trees.

“The Lions Clubs International president challenged Lions worldwide to plant a million trees throughout the world.  Since his challenge in July, Lions greatly exceeded the goal and have planted more than 6 million trees so far,” said longtime Lion Scott Newton. “We were hoping to plant lots of trees in public places throughout the city but have not been able to get much traction.”

Ellesworth said the club has already done some planting in Zoeter Field.

 “This task has been very difficult given the requirements of the city of Seal Beach for its master plan.  Each tree that is in Zoeter Field was about $185,” Ellsworth said.

Planting trees in the public area of coastal zone cities such as Seal Beach can be difficult. There can be city and state restrictions from such entities as the California Coastal Commission. Finding the correct space could also be a challenge.

“Lions Club International has realized our limitations, so they have opened up our parameters as it where,” Ellsworth said. “We are now allowed to plant trees on private property.

“We will also get credit for residents that have planted trees in the last year on their property. We are working with the Seal Beach Naval Weapons station about replacing trees along Seal Beach Boulevard.”

Any Seal Beach residents that are interested in planting trees on their property may contact the Seal Beach Lions Club. The club will pay for and plant a tree for the first 25 callers. After the first 25, the Lions will purchase a tree and plant if for a small donation to the club.

“Our deadline is March,” Ellsworth said. “So we must arrange this now. I can work with the homeowner on type of tree.  I am trying to get a list started and then we can negotiate pricing with several sources we have.

The Lions paid for the seven trees they recently planted in Zoeter Field according to Ellsworth. “I am not aware of any Coastal Commission requirement of planting on the Naval Weapons Station. I wouldn’t imagine needing coastal commission approval for 15-gallon trees on Federal Land.

To make a comment on this story at the Sun Newspapers’ Web site, go to