By Bryan Medina
TreePeople recently wrapped up planting thousands of shade trees in Southeast Los Angeles County and while they’re doing their best to brave the late summer heat, these trees require lots of help from residents to get the water and care they need.
This summer, TreePeople’s Community Organizing team invited communities in Southeast LA to learn more about our tree planting projects in their neighborhoods through our Virtual Tree Summits.
So far, TreePeople has held Tree Summits in Commerce, Norwalk and Downey, with more soon to come in Santa Fe Springs and La Mirada.
In these cities, part of the Gateway Cities region of Southeast LA, we’re currently planting 11,000 trees in parkways and parks. In an effort to get residents involved in caring for the trees, we’re holding Tree Summits in each city to discuss project progress, learn about the importance of shade trees and form Community Tree Care Teams to water and care for their trees.
The Community Tree Care Team program is designed so community members could learn how to identify trees in need of care and form a team dedicated to watering and caring for trees. Tree Care Teams are taught best practices to ensure that their neighborhood trees survive the summer heat through weekly watering, removing weeds and grass, and much more.
Thanks to tree canopy map data collected by our policy team and partners like Loyola Marymount University, participants saw the impacts of industrialization and development, depleted tree cover in the region and the need to be champions for climate resiliency in their community.
Because of this, the survival of the trees is key. The Gateway Cities, which tend to have less tree cover than more affluent communities in LA, often bear the brunt of the increased urban heat.
These trees, along with help from community members, will go a long way to protect residents from this reality.
- Downey: 3,128 shade trees in parkways and parks, 250 fruit trees given away at One Day of Service in November 2019
- Norwalk: 1,154 shade trees in parkways and parks, 250 fruit trees given away at Snowfest in December 2019
- Commerce: 1,145 shade trees in parkways and parks, 200 fruit trees delivered to residents
- Santa Fe Springs: 440 park trees, 200 fruit trees to be distributed
- La Mirada: 812 parkway and park trees, 200 fruit trees to be distributed