The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to accept a $1.5 million grant from CalFire to plant about 2,000 street trees.
According to the Los Angeles Bureau Sanitation and Environment, the city was successful in securing the “Root for the Future” tree planting grant, which will provide funding for Los Angeles and its partners to plant the trees in disadvantaged communities.
The grant funds will also be used to create 750 new tree wells and provide critical water and maintenance for more than 1,500 new street trees for three years.
The grant money could not have come at a better time, LASAN officials said, as the city continues to make budget cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The disparity between neighborhoods with trees and those without symbolizes the lack of environmental and economic equity in Los Angeles neighborhoods,” said Board of Public Works President Kevin James. “Trees aren’t just a climate change issue, they are an equity issue. This Root for the Future grant will help the city begin to address both challenges simultaneously.”
In addition to Root for the Future, LASAN recently signed a contract with the state for an additional $2.265 million for the Boyle Heights Green Infrastructure project, which will provide 1,400 new trees and 525 new tree wells in the city-designated neighborhood.
The contract also will fund watering by one of the city’s nonprofit partners in a neighborhood that is in one of the city’s Clean Up, Green Up overlay districts.
“Trees are at the core of a healthy urban ecosystem. Whether in public or private spaces, trees enrich the biodiversity of local habitats, sequester carbon, and help address issues of environmental justice in disadvantaged communities,” LASAN General Manager and Executive Director Enrique Zaldivar said.
The Root for the Future project is funded through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund for California Climate Investments. The grant fund a partnership between the city and the public-private nonprofit City Plants, the Bureau of Street Services and multiple nonprofit tree-planting partners, according to LASAN.
Residents can sign up to adopt and care for free street trees at www.lacitysan.org/freetree.
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