The first step toward TreePeople’s commitment to green schools in Los Angeles began last weekend as extreme heat-producing asphalt was removed from 112th St. Elementary School in Watts to make way for 19 trees and a reading garden.
The project is part of six public school campuses TreePeople will green beginning this school year, including four in Watts, one in Pacoima and another in Wilmington.
As 6 million California public school students return to class, many of them will be walking onto schoolyards covered with asphalt – prison-like, unhealthy environments that are detrimental to a kids’ physical, mental and educational health.
Meanwhile in Sacramento, our Legislature convened last month to allocate the $70 billion budget surplus and is considering allocated $150 million to remove asphalt and plant trees on school campuses throughout the state. These funds, which Gavin Newsom approved just this week, and was fought for by TreePeople allies California State Senator Bob Hertzberg, and State Assemblymembers Luz Rivas and Lisa Calderon, as well as thousands of TreePeople members and volunteers, will help build a greener future for students.
We’re also exited to work with private partners such as AnswerConnect to help create greener learning environments for students in Southern California. These trees will help support academic excellence, complement environmental education standards and improve student health and wellbeing.