Through a combination of grants, TreePeople will transform 17 LA County schools.
TreePeople will use this transformative grant award to convert over 400,000 square feet of asphalt at local public schools into sustainable landscapes and natural grass playing fields with outdoor learning and reading gardens and permeable, heat-reducing surfaces. Nearly 1,000 trees and over ten thousand native plants will be installed and maintained to provide shade canopy and reduce extreme urban “heat islands.”
Design layout for TreePeople’s plans to transform Charles W. Barrett Elementary School in the Vermont Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.
Implementation projects will take place on campuses in historically underserved regions of South Los Angeles, Southeast Los Angeles County, San Fernando Valley and the San Gabriel Valley. TreePeople policy experts worked with Senator Bob Hertzberg, Assembly Member Cristina Garcia, Assembly Member Lisa Calderon and the Trust for Public Land in 2022 to champion and secure the allocation of $150 Million in the California budget to CAL FIRE for the purpose of school greening grants across the state emphasizing disadvantaged and low-income communities.
“TreePeople School Greening projects are part of our larger vision to utilize nature-based solutions that mitigate extreme heat impacts across urban Southern California’s most underserved communities–many of which are projected to experience hotter and more frequent high-heat days in the years ahead due to climate change,” said Emily Tyrer, Director of Green Infrastructure at TreePeople. Tyrer assembled grant-winning concept designs based on direct participation and feedback from educators and families in these communities. “These projects are born from parents who want a better learning environment for their children; I am grateful for CAL FIRE’s historic investment and honored to help school communities create safer, healthier schools.”
TreePeople volunteers building a learning garden at Main Street Elementary in the South Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA. 2012.