In celebration of Arbor Day L.A., volunteers came together on April 9, to plant 220 trees on the streets surrounding the Mount Carmel Recreation Center in Council District 8, represented by Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson.
In addition, 150 fruit and shade trees were provided by the L.A. Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to be adopted by L.A. residents. City Plants, the non-profit partnership between LADWP and outside groups, and L.A. Sanitation and Environment (LASAN) along with the Mayor’s Office, Council office, the Department of Recreation and Parks and the Department of Public Works, helped organize the event.
“Few things are more important than the air we breathe and the environment in which we live,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Trees are a centerpiece of our strategy to achieve a greener, more just and equitable city. With over 200 new trees in this community, we’re taking a step in the right direction.”
The tree planting event was made possible thanks to funding provided by California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), California Climate Investments, LADWP, LASAN, Department of Recreation and Parks, City Plants and the Streets LA Urban Forestry Division. The project is part of LASAN’s Root For The Future grant project, which will sequester over 5,000 metric tons of CO2, equivalent to taking 1,077 cars off the road for a year.
Over a period of three years, the Root For The Future project will plant 2,000 trees in disadvantaged communities throughout Los Angeles; create 1,000 new tree wells; and partner with the Streets LA Urban Forestry Division to water 1,000 trees until they are established.
“The act of planting a tree addresses many environmental and health issues,” said Harris-Dawson, “that disproportionally affect people who live in this area of the city. Trees improve our quality of life, strengthen our environment, and play a vital role in cooling our streets and homes, filtering air, and beautifying our neighborhoods.”
Since 2015, more than $7.75 million has been awarded to LASAN from CAL FIRE and CCI to plant over 12,000 trees, in partnership with the City Plants / LADWP Energy Efficient Tree program. Once completed, these programs will help remove over 2.5 acres of concrete from the City of Los Angeles.
“Trees are a beautiful and practical energy efficiency measure,” said Board of Water and Power Commissioners President Cynthia McClain-Hill.
“LADWP is pleased to support the growth of our urban canopy, helping Angelenos enjoy cleaner air, more shade, and as a result, lower electricity bills through reduced cooling costs. As we continue to see more extreme temperatures due to climate change, especially high heat, trees can help keep us comfortable, our neighborhoods greener and your LADWP bills more affordable.”
City Plants non-profit planting partners – the LA Conservation Corps, Koreatown Youth and Community Center, and North East Trees – guided Arbor Day volunteers on proper tree planting so that the trees planted will thrive for years to come.
“As we continue to see temperatures increase, LASAN continues its efforts to increase tree canopy in communities with the greatest need throughout the City. Trees planted for Root for Future grant project, which is helping fund this tree planting and others in disadvantaged communities, will provide multiple environmental benefits to combat climate change,” said Barbara Romero, LASAN general manager.
“The city continues to get hotter and tree canopy is needed more than ever,” said Executive Officer and Sustainability Officer Greg Spotts. “Now with the street tree inventory more than two-thirds complete, we are getting valuable information that is helping identify through data where tree planting is most critical.”
“Trees provide tremendous benefits to our communities and improve the quality of life for our residents, and healthy, large trees should be available to all neighborhoods. Today we are planting trees that will shade and cool residents in this area in the future.” said Rachel Malarich, forest officer for the City of Los Angeles.
“Arbor Day LA event unites the City of Los Angeles by creating an opportunity to cultivate community participation and inspiring them to be stewards of our natural resources while contributing to a healthier, more sustainable city,” says Department of Recreation and Parks General Manager Michael Shull.
“Planting 220 trees is an investment that will not only improve the environment but will also positively influence our South Los Angeles community’s quality of life.”
“Arbor Day brings climate and community action together, and it’s wonderful to see City, non-profit, and community stakeholders join together to help transform a neighborhood,” said Rachel O’Leary, City Plants executive director.
“We want Angelenos to go back to their neighborhoods empowered to take climate action as we celebrate trees today and every day.”