Los Angeles Government, 2006 Urban Amenity Project
Million Trees LA is an initiative to make LA greener, cleaner, healthier and more beautiful. The intent is to plant 1 million trees over several years. Involved are the City of LA, community groups, businesses and individuals working together to plant and provide long-term stewardship of these trees. The intention is to focus on areas that need these trees most.
Approach This project is a government initiative to improve the environmental quality of LA. Trees provide shade, save on energy costs, clean the air, help reduce greenhouse gases, capture polluted urban runoff, improve water quality and add beauty to neighbourhoods.
This project also has a social sustainability aspect through its focus on community participation and ownership. The aim is to ensure planting at schools, under-served communities and areas along the LA River.
How Research form and important part of this project. USDA Forest Service, PSW Research Station and the Centre for Urban Forest Research support decisions regarding what and where to plant. Studies also include mapped studies of canopy cover and socio-economic overlays in the distribution of tree plantings.
Education is also vital to this project’s success. This project utilises a comprehensive website as well as research resources and community groups to disseminate information to the public and to monitor the ongoing progress of the project. Anyone can log onto the website and access information regarding types of trees, what to plant where, how to plant and maintenance.
This project relies on public and private partnerships for strategic planning, project co-ordination, marketing, research, education, organised planting and funding. It also relies on volunteers for support planting the trees.
Project Monitoring takes place with a formal count of trees planted through the website. Information regarding what/ where and why are included in this register.
Opportunities and Challenges
This project supports active engagement and involvement in greening LA. The comprehensive online resource also provides individuals with knowledge towards self-sustainability and ongoing participation in this aspect of the urban environment - empowering the community.