After weeks of field work as a tree canvasser and data collector on fresh food availability, Emely Lopez researched and wrote an environmental impact report on Koreatown for her summer internship with KYCC’s Environmental Services unit.

Her experience planting trees and recording data taught her about the benefits of greening our neighborhoods and how city planning policies shape our work. Her internship provided her with an environmental education that shaped her desire to study environmental policy at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

“I started going out in the KYCC truck around Koreatown, marking where trees could be planted and what types of trees they were. I told myself, ‘What haven’t I accomplished that I set my mind to?’ So I went for it. And [Environmental Services Manager] Ryan guided and taught me, and I learned about how hard this work is and how complicated city regulations are. I am now interested in moving towards more sustainable practices for our trees and environment.”