Los Angeles Takes on the Climate Crisis

Sadie W., journalist

It is no secret that the city of Los Angeles is a hot place. Whether one is struggling to find an air conditioner for sale in the summer months or is wearing shorts in the middle of winter, it is something that every LA resident has experienced. An article by Los Angeles Almanac states, “by the end of the 1990s, average temperatures in Los Angeles had risen 3 degrees Fahrenheit above those of the 1940s.” This rise in temperature, mixed with decade-long droughts, has created a real problem for the city. As a result, climate change activists and politicians have been forced to try to resolve this concern in very creative ways.

One program called CityPlants has aimed to donate trees to homeowners. Their goal is to nurture neighborhoods that are shaded and also to make LA a greener place. They offer a wide range of trees; from fruit trees to crêpe myrtles. Kristy Munden, a citizen who participated in this program, said, “I believe all trees that they offer are climate-appropriate, and they deliver them in pots ready to plant with stakes and fertilizer and instructions.” CityPlants seems to be well-received within the communities that they have helped. Munden was very enthusiastic about the program and said that she would recommend it to anyone.

While their program does benefit the people receiving the trees, it also has an effect on the neighborhoods in general. A CityPlants worker, Jimmy Perez, shared some of those benefits with me. “It’s a great program that helps support Los Angeles by giving us cleaner air, shade, and vibrant communities.” The program has planted over 3,000 trees and donated nearly another 20,000, all just within the year 2020.

There are also other programs that are working towards combating the climate change issue that LA has been facing. Cool Streets was launched by Mayor Eric Garcetti’s administration and is working on repainting the pavement in some of the hotter neighborhoods. “The cooling impacts in Cool Streets LA will enable the City to meet a number of additional goals set forth in Mayor Garcetti’s Green New Deal, such as: reducing urban/rural temperature differential by at least 1.7 degrees by 2025 and 3 degrees by 2035; ensuring every high-volume transit stop has access to cooling features by 2021; and installing cool pavement material on 250 lane miles of the City’s streets,” stated Garcetti’s website, detailing the improvements they hope that this program will provide.

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