KYCC Environmental Services hosted the Vernon Planting Event on Saturday, Oct. 26 with the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. The Vernon event was the official kickoff for the planting of 90,000 trees that the City of Los Angeles pledged to plant as part of the City’s Green New Deal. The Green New Deal was put into effect this past April, with goals to make Los Angeles a more sustainable city for its residents, employees and visitors.

“The fight of our lives is climate change,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The best way to combat climate change—because this is a fight that we must win, we must stop the warming of our planet and we must protect our communities—is by planting a tree. It cools the earth. It provides oxygen. It eats carbon dioxide.”

Garcetti isn’t the only city official with hopes to help communities struck by climate change and make LA greener. Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson (CD 8), who also spoke at the event, added: “All of us can plant a tree. And if we can’t plant a tree, we can make a phone call to the city and ask them to come plant a tree in a place we have by our house. We have to make sure we do our fair share to leave generations to come at least what we got.”

The Mayor later spoke of the budget increase to restore L.A.’s Urban Forestry Division to pre-recession levels and the boost in green jobs, such as for arborists, tree surgeons, and maintenance crews. 

“KYCC has been working for over 10 years to bring more street trees to South L.A.,” said KYCC Environmental Services Manager Clarissa Boyajian. “Trees clean our air, provide welcome shade and improve both mental and physical health.”

KYCC has been a planting partner in Central and South L.A. for many years, and we’re excited to continue increasing tree canopy in the parts of our city that need it the most.”

At the event, KYCC planted 15 street trees to beautify this South Los Angeles community in collaboration with Los Angeles Council District 8, Empowerment Congress Central Area, Barack Obama Global Preparation Academy, L.A. County Stentorians, CalFire, and City Plants.

Rachel Malarich, Los Angeles’s first-ever City Forest Officer, spoke on preserving and expanding our urban forest—the nation’s largest. She also spoke of the City’s goals within the Green New Deal to increase the canopy by at least 50 percent by 2028 in communities with the least shade. The City’s hottest neighborhoods tend to be the most economically disadvantaged.

Malaraich was the KYCC Environmental Services Manager prior to accepting her new post within the Board of Public Works. 

Since 1995, KYCC Environmental Services has been working to create safe, healthy and beautiful neighborhoods. Through community cleanups, tree plantings, group volunteer events and graffiti removal, we believe that our dedication and support of inspired community action is the most effective way to achieve meaningful and sustainable environmental change.

Our Environmental Services provide training and resources for residents to beautify their neighborhood, to increase open space for families and to grow tree-lined streets in Los Angeles.