Paint the Town Green: LA's Arts District to Plant Street Trees

A four-person committee in LA's Arts District is bringing trees to the neighborhood's barren streets with a grant from TreePeople & GOOD Maker.

What would you do to bring some nature into your neighborhood? To green the concrete jungles, GOOD Maker teamed up with environmental nonprofit organization TreePeople to urge the GOOD community to paint their town green. We wanted to hear your plans on how to use TreePeople’s plethora of resources including trees, native and water-conserving plants, mulch, and rainwater capture to implement into urban communities needing a healthy dose of plant life.

For a group of Los Angeles' Arts District residents, the solution was simple: Use the award funds to plant trees and work closely with TreePeople to give their urban home an all-natural makeover. The winning idea of TreePeople’s 2012 Green City Challenge came from a four-person planning committee, made up of Arts District property owners, residents and business owners, willing to volunteer their time to plant and maintain new street trees. The team's mission is to tackle the lack of the neighborhood green space by planting a mixture of trees and natives plants on Mateo Street, one of the community's main streets. In addition, the committee hopes to develop a system to decrease storm water runoff into the Los Angeles River, increase tree care for the existing street trees, improve the quality of soil in the community, and plant fruit trees and native plants in the parkway strip surrounding Urban Radish, a neighborhood market set to open by 2013.

While this project is not the Arts District's first foray into tree planting, landscape designer and committee member Garbrielle Newmark hopes it is one that will last. With 17 volunteers already signed up for the street planting launch, the project is off to a solid start. “My main goal besides getting these trees planted is setting up a long-term maintenance plan,” Newmark says. “The other trees in the neighborhood have been cared for, but I’d like for more people to get more involved and invested in planting efforts and be aware of the educational aspects.” The group's next steps involve getting permits for the planting. By October, the team hopes to be sowing seeds. By January of 2013, they'll begin planting fruit trees and native plants in the market parkways.

Want to learn more about GOOD Maker? Drop us a line at maker [at] goodinc [dot] com, sign up for our email list, or check out the current challenges on GOOD Maker.

Photos courtesy of Carolyn Paxton and Gabrielle Newmark\n
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