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3530 Wilshire Blvd, 8th Floor,
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 351-7825
PLACE Urban Forest Work
Expanding the Urban Forest in Unincorporated Communities
Trees are an essential part of the urban environment and contribute positively to climate control, storm water collection, air quality, and the mental and physical health of the community. The PLACE Program convenes the County’s Tree Committee, part of the County’s Healthy Design Workgroup, bringing together County departments to preserve, maintain, and expand the urban forest, with a focus on low-income, tree-poor neighborhoods.

Free Trees for Unincorporated Residents
Trees cool our neighborhoods, clean the air and water, improve our health, and save energy. Unincorporated LA County residents can request a free street tree from Public Works! Visit their Parkway Trees website and click on Tree Planting to request yours. If you live in the City of Los Angeles, visit the City Plants website to request free trees for your home or neighborhood.

Urban Forest Management Plan
The urban forest is an essential part of a healthy community, made up of trees on both public and private lands. Spread equitably and supported by other urban greening measures, a well-managed urban forest throughout LA County can deliver healthier soils, biodiversity, habitats, shading from heat, and greater community health and well-being. As a first step, PLACE and the Chief Sustainability Office are pursuing funding to create and implement a Countywide Urban Forest Management Plan that prioritizes resilient, climate-appropriate trees, understory vegetation, and native biodiversity. The plan will also conserve mature trees and properly manage resources to ensure that trees thrive in our urban environment.

“Hyperspectral” Tree Inventory & Health Assessment
Through the Tree Committee, PLACE received a grant in 2020 from the Quality and Productivity Commission to pursue a modern, data-driven approach to urban forestry. “Optimizing Planning and Management of Los Angeles County’s Urban Forest” uses existing data from Jet Propulsion Laboratory and LARIAC to develop and pilot a Machine Learning algorithm unique to the L.A.-area; eventually helping us to count, identify, and check in on every tree in the region, at the push of a button. This cost-effective, automated approach to an otherwise manual, costly activity will help us better understand and manage our urban forest.

Community Tree Planting Projects
In February 2017, Supervisor Hilda Solis launched a tree planting initiative called “Life is Better with Trees” to help provide shade, clean air, cooler temperatures and a better quality of life for residents in urban neighborhoods. The PLACE team collaborated with the First District, Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, the San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps and other community partners as a project of the Healthy Design Workgroup’s Tree Committee.
treev planting
Nearly 2,000 trees were planted in Valinda, Bassett, Walnut Park and East Los Angeles.

The Community Parks and Recreation Plans were used to identify low tree canopy neighborhoods. A new public education and community engagement model is being piloted in which community organizations from these neighborhoods recruited local, at-risk youth who were trained to provide tree education and outreach to residents.

As part of the project, the San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps provided rigorous job and life skills training to young adults who were also trained to plant the trees, while working on their GED or required community service. It is hoped that these collective efforts will result in higher acceptance rates of trees, better tree survival, and overall improvements in the social determinants of health in these neighborhoods. Read our brief on Life is Better with Trees.

In 2019, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas sponsored a tree planting and education project in Westmont and West Athens, “Trees Make Life Better.” For this project, PLACE supported the Second District, Los Angeles County Public Works, the Los Angeles Conservation Corps, From Lot to Spot, and the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust in tree outreach and education; and in planting 650 trees at community planting events and in front of residents’ homes.


 

 

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