Only feet away from Interstate 5–where hundreds of thousands of vehicles roll down the freeway every day–a team of TreePeople staff and volunteers assembled at Pacoima Middle School on Saturday, October 14th to bring dozens of new trees and much needed green space to the campus. As the temperatures soared to over 90 degrees, concrete was removed and shovels cracked through the dirt to plant a shadier, cooler future for the school’s students. It wasn’t long before a barricade of green could be seen between the playground and the highway.
The trees our volunteers planted at Pacoima Middle School will do more than just bring shade to the playground. They’ll help shield from the grinding noise of traffic. They’ll help facilitate a better learning environment. They’ll help filter pollutants. They’ll help capture water from storms. They’ll help not only students but the surrounding community as well. As the final tree made its home in the ground, across the field families were gathered on the campus for youth soccer games—an important reminder of the need for expanding community green space throughout Southern California.
This isn’t the end for TreePeople and Pacoima Middle School. Later this year we’ll be tearing up more concrete and making room for a brand new learning garden that will be at the heart of the campus. These gardens will create opportunities for expanded experiential learning and natural space for students to connect to the outdoor world and recharge. This work would not be possible if not for our thousands of volunteers and our donors who help us create a greener, healthier, more equitable Southern California. To be a part of TreePeople and our mission visit treepeople.org/canopy, where for less than a dollar a day you can help support this vital work and make a lasting impact across Southern California.