Southern California -- this just in

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This Santa Monica park bench was purchased by that family on the corner

December 28, 2008 |  9:25 am

Santa Monica has come up with a way to improve its parks during tough economic times. It's created a program that allows residents to purchase benches, trees and other items for a park or other public space. For $750, you get a plaque next to your gift. More from the Argonaut:

The city has initiated a program that allows the public to purchase tributes and commemorations while improving the city's parks, beach and community forest, city officials said. The "Give Santa Monica" tributes are a way to mark a celebration, pay tribute to a retiring colleague or honor a loved one. Donors have the choice of making a contribution of $25 or more to a general fund, purchasing an amenity of $250 or more, or planting a tree for $500 or more to improve the city's parks, beach and streetscapes. All contributions will be acknowledged with a certificate and commemorative gift and posting on the city Web site at www.smgov.net/. Contributions of $750 or more will include a plaque installed at or near the site.

--Shelby Grad