Urban Tree Canopy Benefits LA Communities, Some More Than Others

written by Niche.LA Video Art April 20, 2016

Meet Brent Green, a modern-day “Johnny Appleseed,” who has planted more than 5,000 trees in his lifetime and transformed his neighborhood. He knows first hand how the small act of planting a tree can have a huge impact.

In a special report SoCal Connected explores L.A.’s tree canopy; the 10-million-plus trees that shade more than 20 percent of the city. Trees are a remarkable counter force against the concrete landscape that feeds rising temperatures.

Reporter Nic Cha Kim discovers why our environment and our neighborhoods need more of them. He meets a few of the passionate people who are planting thousands of trees every year.

We ask why some communities are tree “poor” and other tree “rich.” We see how a small army of passionate people are working to correct the disparity by giving away thousands of trees to families in tree-scarce neighborhoods. We meet non-profit groups, scientists, political leaders and regular citizens who are turning their love of trees into a quiet but growing social movement that is vital to cooling down our environment, cleaning our air and building communities.

This story is part of a special report exploring tree canopies in Southern California. Learn more about tree canopy coverage and what local organizations are doing to encourage communities to participate in tree planting initiatives at kcet.org/treecanopies. On Saturday, April 23, 2016, KCET’s SoCal Connected team planted trees with volunteers and community leaders at Woodley Park in Van Nuys, Calif. The trees are part of a 20-year study to evaluate the resilience of different species to stressors such as high winds, pests, salinity, drought, and heat.

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