Functioning Community Forest
TreePeople has a long-range vision: to green Los Angeles by establishing a Functioning Community Forest in every neighborhood of the city.
What does it mean?
We coined the phrase Functioning Community Forest to refer to:
An urban community where local residents and businesspeople have joined together to transform their neighborhood into a sustainable ecosystem that functions like a healthy, natural forest.
Creating a Functioning Community Forest involves people engaging with each other to plant and care for trees, and to incorporate “forest-mimicking” technologies into their urban landscape.
What does it look like?
- Community members of all ages and backgrounds join together to take responsibility for the urban forest in their neighborhood.
- Citizen Foresters – with training and support from TreePeople – lead the effort to mobilize neighborhood volunteers to plant and care for trees.
- Well-cared-for trees shade walkways, streets, buildings and recreation areas to reduce energy and water use.
- The use of mulch feeds the soil with nutrients and helps it absorb and hold rainwater.
- Permeable paving replaces hard asphalt surfaces and enables rainwater to soak into the ground.
- Downspouts direct rainwater toward the ground instead of onto pavement.
- Raised berms create sunken gardens that trap rainwater and enable it to seep into the ground.
- Swales – human-made trenches planted with native vegetation – slow the flow of rainwater to help it soak into the ground.
- Rain barrels or cisterns store rainwater for use in dry seasons.
- Native and drought-tolerant plants and grasses reduce the need for irrigation.
How will it help?
Creating Functioning Community Forests throughout L.A. will help everyone in our city. Together, we can:
- Increase our groundwater supplies, reducing the need for imported water.
- Improve our air quality.
- Decrease soil erosion and the destruction caused by landslides.
- Reduce energy used for cooling our homes and businesses.
- Reduce the effects of global warming.