Mayor Eric Garcetti Thursday announced the appointment of Los Angeles’ first forest officer, a position that will oversee urban forests in an effort to plant 90,000 trees by 2021.
“Every tree we plant can help stem the tide of the climate crisis, and when we expand our urban forest, we can sow the seeds of a healthier, more sustainable future for communities across our city,” Garcetti said.
The mayor appointed Rachel Malarich, a certified arborist, to the post.
According to the mayor’s office, Malarich has spent more than 12 years working to increase tree canopy in urban areas throughout Southern California, devising strategic management plans to expand urban forests and promoting community engagement.
She spent more than a decade with Tree People, where she served as the director of forestry for more than three years, and worked as the assistant director of environmental services for Koreatown Youth and Community Center.
Malarich is Tree Risk Assessment Qualified by the International Society of Arboriculture.
“Rachel has the vision, experience and expertise necessary to lead the work of lining our streets with more trees and building a greener tomorrow,” Garcetti said.
The mayor created the position with the Board of Public Works to reach one of the city’s goals in its Green New Deal — increasing tree canopy by at least 50 percent by 2028 in areas with the least shade, which tend to be the city’s hottest, low-income communities, according to the mayor’s office.
Malarich will be responsible for spearheading the development of a citywide Urban Forest Management Plan.
“Trees do more than contribute to the look and feel of our neighborhoods; they are a key tool to protect vulnerable populations, improve public health and enhance community well-being for all Angelenos,” Malarich said.
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