Recently, LA2050 asked a provocative question: how would YOU use $100,000 to make Los Angeles the healthiest place to live?
It’s a great question, and we have our answer: TreeMapLA. By continuing to build TreeMapLA as a simple, powerful, and user-friendly tool, we will enable residents of Los Angeles County to use the map to become more aware of LA’s urban ecosystem. TreeMapLA will help Angelenos plant and care for the millions of trees and rainwater catchment systems we need to make the city healthier and more sustainable.
TreeMapLA is a collaborative tool, and to make it the best tool it can be, we need your help. It starts with funding: to win the $100,000 to make LA more sustainable, more water-wise, and more liveable for everyone, we need your vote.
What Is TreeMapLA?
TreeMapLA is exactly what it sounds like – a map of all the trees in Los Angeles. But it’s also much more than that. It’s a community tool: because it’s open-source, anyone can add a tree, or mark a tree that needs watering. It’s an ecosystem-tracking tool: in addition to trees, you can map watershed and rainwater capture features, like rain barrels and rain gardens. It’s a policy tool: when we know how many trees there are in LA, we’ll know how much carbon we’re capturing, how much money we’re saving by cooling the city, how much water we’re harvesting, and how we can do better. And it’s an education tool: when students map trees around their schools, they learn how the urban ecosystem around them functions.
How Will $100,000 Help?
We launched TreeMapLA in March, and it’s already up and running. But for it to really be the crowd-sourcing platform LA needs, we need help populating, innovating, and communicating.
Populate: The more trees on the map, the clearer the picture of our ecosystem is and the greater the calculated benefits are, helping motivate further community action to green the city. We want every tree in LA mapped! The LA2050 grant will help us reach out to and train volunteers, provide teachers with curricula to lead their students in tree mapping activities, and reach out to other organizations and agencies for help.
Innovate: TreeMapLA is already an amazingly functional tool, but it would be even better if we could add stewardship-enabling alerts and actions to the mobile app, increase its social media functionality, and build in other communication tools. We want to be able to use the platform to keep millions of trees healthy by fostering a system where one user can tag a tree that needs water on her way to work, and a few hours later another user will see it and drop by with a bucket to help.
Communicate: Funding will help us provide free field trips to teachers who get their students involved with TreeMapLA, and it will also help us reach out to Angelenos across the city about the system.
This Sounds Awesome. How Can I Help?
You can vote for us starting at noon on September 2nd – and get your friends to vote too! If we get the most votes in our category, we’ll receive the $100,000 we need to make TreeMapLA truly amazing.
Everyone gets one vote, and it’s super-easy to do. Just log in here with your GOOD account. If you don’t have a GOOD account, it’s free and simple to join – you just need your email address or a Facebook account. Then click on the TreeMapLA project to vote for us – and tell your friends to do the same!
Here’s a fact that’s hard to believe: the average lifespan of an urban tree is only 7 years. With TreeMapLA, we’ll be able to keep an eye on the trees that need our help so that they can grow to be big and beautiful and thriving. And with our help, they’ll clean our air, capture rainwater, and cool the city, all leading the way to a greener, healthier, way more sustainable LA by the year 2050.