By: Kumar Bloomstein/Amigos de los Rios –
As part of the California Urban Forestry Council’s Invest from the Ground Up tree planting program, the California Initiative to Reduce Carbon and Limit Emissions (CIRCLE 2.0) has come to the Cities of El Monte and Paramount this spring!
The Cities have partnered with West Coast Arborists and Amigos de los Rios to implement a community outreach measure to galvanize local support for tree planting. The goal of this program was to expand the tree canopy and green cover of Paramount and El Monte, two cities that suffer from poor air quality and a disproportionate burden of toxic materials within area limits. Due to their proximity to freeways, industry, and other polluting sources, tree planting in these cities will help improve the public health of residents.
Through street canvassing and localized organizing, Amigos de los Rios was able to gather significant community support for tree watering and care. Multiple Tree Steward training events were held, educating residents and community members on basic tree care, health, and environmental value. Volunteers earned official Tree Steward Certifications, and are now able to conduct tree watering and advocacy in their communities. Stewards have been active in the neighborhood, canvassing surrounding homes and gathering support for the new trees. Using their knowledge of street tree health and benefits, Stewards have been proactively building community cohesion and deserve to be recognized!
Following the multi-week organizing efforts, both Cities held Arbor Day celebrations to kick off the tree planting! Disadvantaged youth, high-schoolers, volunteers, and environmentally friendly groups came together to learn ecological literacy and plant 365 trees in total!
We cannot thank the volunteers and local residents enough, for their tireless work and leadership in helping to make their communities healthier, greener places!