Castro CBD raises funds to keep palm trees lit :: Bay Area ReporterPosted by On

With city officials set to turn the switch on next week to light the palm trees in the median of upper Market Street, the Castro Community Benefit District is raising money to cover the cost of the electricity bill for doing so. It has set a goal of at least $12,500 in donations to pay for five years worth of the new uplighting.

According to Andrea Aiello, the CBD’s executive director, the city only agreed to install the uplighting as part of the near complete Upper Market Safety Project if the nonprofit neighborhood group agreed to cover the operational costs for the 88 LED lights installed near the base of the palm trees. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has estimated the yearly cost will be $2,500, Aiello told the Bay Area Reporter.

As of November 29, the CBD had raised $1,780 toward its Light Up The Night campaign. The community group offered to pay for the lighting bill because residents of the city’s LGBTQ neighborhood have wanted to see the palm trees bathed in light for decades, said Aiello.

“When I was first hired, members of my board were talking about wouldn’t it be wonderful to have uplighting on the palm trees on upper Market Street. I have been with the CBD since 2008,” said Aiello. “I don’t think there has ever been lighting on the palm trees, not that I can remember.”

Along with helping to beautify the commercial corridor, the lighting will also provide a bit more safety for…

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