Green

Vidya Sethuraman
India Post News Service

Michael Jerrett
Michael Jerrett, Professor, UCLA Department of Environmental Health Sciences and Co-Director, Center for Healthy Climate Solutions

Ethnic Minority Media (EMS) held a media briefing on Dec 1st and invited experts to use Los Angeles City and County as examples to talk about the impact of green areas on human health and life span.

As many of our cities have grown, trees and green space often have been seen as little more than beautification strategies. Now we know that tree canopy and park space directly affect our health and our survival on Earth.  Trees are distributed unevenly in most cities, including Los Angeles, where 20% of the city’s trees are found in just four neighborhoods.

Michael Jerrett, Professor, UCLA Department of Environmental Health Sciences and Co-Director, Center for Healthy Climate Solutions, Fielding School of Public Health said that a study published by him and other experts showed that if all areas in Los Angeles County park area (54 acres) were raised to the median, the Los Angeles County population will gain a total of 171,000 additional years of life, of which Latinos and African Americans will gain 122,700 years.

Rachel Malarich
Rachel Malarich, City Forest Officer of the City of Los Angeles

This shows the inequality in access to green space between different ethnic groups. He said that the benefits of increasing grass and shade areas are particularly obvious in areas lacking green space. On average, residents of Beverly Hills live up to 90 years, while residents of South Los Angeles, just 15 miles away, live to 77 on average, a difference of 13 years. There are many reasons for these differences. Urban greening is one.

Rachel Malarich, City Forest Officer of the City of Los Angeles, introduced the greening policy of the City of Los Angeles.

Which includes four concepts: planting, maintenance, inheritance, and management. Among them, “maintenance” refers to the daily maintenance of trees and grass;

“inheritance” refers to allowing green spaces to continue in the continuous urban construction; “management” refers to absorbing public opinions and planting trees that people like.

Marcos Trinidad
Marcos Trinidad, Senior Director of trees at Tree People

Marcos Trinidad, Senior Director of trees at “Tree People”, the largest environmental advocacy organization in Southern California, introduced the organization’s efforts to improve urban greening.

The key point is to sort the greening needs of different regions and prioritize areas that are in urgent need of greening. He said that in the future, he will try a model where formal employees and volunteers work together to encourage more community participation.

Bz Zhang, project manager of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust (LANLT), said that the organization was founded in 2002 and has built more than 30 parks or gardens in Los Angeles together with other organizations. She said that Los Angeles ranks last in the United States in terms of green area, and the greening task has a long way to go.

Bz Zhang
Bz Zhang, project manager of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust (LANLT)

The Bezos Earth Fund’s Greening America’s Cities (GAC) initiative is a $400M commitment through 2030 to create green spaces in underserved urban communities. Grants support environmental and climate justice, by investing in communities that have had limited resources to build healthy and vibrant green spaces. The heart of the GAC mission is to provide community organizations with resources and support to build urban farms, parks, and much-needed tree canopies for their residents.

 

 

Also Read: Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) Exclusive Interview With Ethnic Media