HARVARD PUBLIC HEALTH STAFF |

For more than 30 years, North East Trees has been designing and building restoration projects in Los Angeles. The nonprofit has employed hundreds of teens and young adults in low-income neighborhoods with little green space to plant trees, improve habitats, build parks, and restore waterways. Lack of green space often means poorer neighborhood air quality and no break from the merciless heat of unbroken concrete. Building and restoring green space can improve neighborhood health.

JAIMIE DING |

In 2019, Mayor Eric Garcetti unveiled an ambitious plan to plant 90,000 trees in Los Angeles by 2021 as part of L.A.’s Green New Deal.


To accomplish this, he appointed the city’s first forest officer, Rachel Malarich, to head the Urban Forestry Division. The city also authorized a network of non-profits and “community ambassadors” to aid and encourage residents in planting much-needed trees.

LYDIA PANTAZES |

WATTS, Calif. — Moses Massenburg can be found every day on the farm where he grows produce and teaches people how to farm.

“Typically, farmers like to beat the heat so I get here at 4 a.m.,” he said.

Massenberg lives in Watts and grows produce in MudTown Farms, a 2.5-acre urban agricultural park in the heart of the Watts. The produce grown at the location is distributed to the Watts’ community.

BUILD IT GREEN STAFF |

The places featured in our regenerative communities series demonstrate an intentional and holistic approach to shaping the places where we live. It’s not just about project results, whether they be solar-generated electricity and green spaces or local jobs and permanently affordable housing. It’s about the processes, collaboration, community leadership, and care that go into achieving those results. Through this series, we hope to show that we can all aspire to something beyond ‘sustainable and affordable’—collectively, we can start to envision developments that revitalize communities, restore ecosystems, and give places the ability to evolve and adapt to whatever changes the future holds.

SAMMY ROTH |

For most of this year, people have been asking me: When are you going to write about rooftop solar? Specifically, when are you going to write about monopoly utilities trying to slash California’s wildly successful solar incentive program?

SAMMY ROTH |

Parakeets and lovebirds were chirping in Marta Patricia Martinez’s front yard as a crew of solar installers climbed onto her roof.

It was a warm summer afternoon in Watts, a predominantly Latino and Black neighborhood in South Los Angeles. Low-income families faced the specter of punishingly high energy bills if they cranked up the air conditioning.

For Martinez, solar panels offered an almost-too-good-to-be-true solution.

TONY BARBOZA, RUBEN VIVES |

It was a typical summer day in Los Angeles, but a satellite orbiting hundreds of miles above Earth could detect that it was getting much hotter in some neighborhoods than others.

In a majority-white area of Silver Lake — where median household income is more than $98,000 a year and mature trees dapple the hilly streets with shade — the surface temperature was 96.4 degrees.

Less than a mile away, in a corner of East Hollywood, it was 102.7 degrees. The predominantly Latino and Asian area, where median household income is less than $27,000 a year, is packed with older, two- and three-story apartment buildings. It has few trees big enough to provide shade, and less than one-third the canopy of Silver Lake, ranking it among the lowest-coverage areas in the city.

Check out our partners at LADOT telling Channel 34 News all about our Electric Dash Bus Fleet coming soon to Watts!

LEE HALE, JONAKI MEHTA |

Heat is the number on weather-related killer in the U.S., yet our infrastructure was not built with it in mind. As that heat gets more extreme, cities are rethinking how to adapt.

JADA MONTEMARANO |

LOS ANGELES — Creating more green space in underserved city streets is more important than ever as climate change is making temperatures hotter and causing a severe drought. Watts Rising, a collaboration of residents and local organizations, received some green to plant more green in the community.

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