200 Volunteers, 57 Trees and a Hopeful Future

“One tree is magic when you have none, two trees are hope when you have one, and three trees are a forest for learning, healing, and dreams.” Rosa Furumoto, Parent Pioneers

Last month, TreePeople, along with our passionate partners at Parent Pioneers, transformed the campus of San Fernando Elementary School. Our team went in and removed 1,284 sq ft of asphalt to make room for 57 new trees to shade the schoolyard and protect kids from rising heat. Over a span of a few weekends, and with the help of 200 dedicated volunteers, the elementary school students now have a safer space to play and learn!

“TreePeople has worked extensively in the Northeast Valley for 10 years. Our time in schools here has allowed us to connect in a more meaningful way with the community and grow environmental awareness in children, educators and families,” TreePeople’s Regional Manager of the Northeast Valley, Pam Gibson said.

LA faces a hotter future, threatening us all, but we know our children are some of the most vulnerable if we leave them without protection. The region may see a 3-7 degree increase in temperature by 2050– and the San Fernando Valley is one of LA’s most severely heat-impacted communities. Climate change’s impacts like drought and extreme heat waves only strengthen our commitment to taking local climate action.

The act of planting a tree is a revolutionary act. It not only builds community but also provides benefits for years to come by cleaning our air, recharging groundwater sources and cooling schoolyards for children to play.

This green future for the students of San Fernando Elementary was made possible by CAL FIRE. Their grant awarded us $25,000 to make this project possible. We were also fortunate to have the support of School Board member Monica Ratliff’s office, which donated an additional $6,000 to help us complete a thorough soil testing before we put trees in the ground.

Want to be a part of creating a green and hopeful future for LA’s next generation? Volunteer at one of our next events!

By Jessica Jewell

Jessica is TreePeople’s Director of Marketing and Communications. A native Southern Californian, you can find her wandering local trails, hanging out with her sidekick, Penny the Rescue Puppy, on her yoga mat, reading some Phillip K. Dick, or in her kitchen cooking up vegan confections.

Jessica's professional background goes back to her time working at PETA where she worked on celebrity campaigns, and a stint in the entertainment industry, where she worked at Technicolor on their Global Marketing Team.