The goal of the Tree Ambassador Program is to create trained, invested and paid community leaders to raise awareness in their communities about the benefits of trees, and ultimately, get more trees planted in neighborhoods. where they are needed most This program is focused particularly in low canopy communities and neighborhoods vulnerable to urban heat. The pilot program recently launched with the first session of a 10 class training program that includes the following elements:
- Intro to Urban Forestry & the Tree Ambassador Model
- Community Organizing for a Green and Equitable Future
- Right tree, Right place, Right Reason
- Tree Planting and Young Tree Care
- Trees, Urban Heat, and Climate Change
- Common Barriers to Urban Greening
- Native Los Angeles
- Mature Tree Care
- Careers in urban forestry
- Review and recap.
Each ambassador receives a Community Action Toolkit, welcome package with T-shirts and other swag, and a link to a Google classroom with online resources and links to tools such as CalEnviroScreen, which maps environmental inequality statewide, and the Google AI tool for Los Angeles. Recruitment was accomplished by advertising the positions on social media, community meetings, online job boards, neighborhood councils, and involved non-profit partners. Most of the ambassadors came from existing funded urban forestry projects in their neighborhood.
The lunch and learn presentation was done by several Climate Action Corps fellows, including Bryce from City Plants and Miles Kim Parr from the Koreatown Youth and Community Center (KYCC)C. The project team includes City Plants, KYCC, Climate Resolve, TreePeople and was funded by LADWP’s Energy Efficiency Program and a CalFire Urban and Community Forestry grant. The Tree Ambassador Program is funded by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, CalFire, and the U.S. Forest Service, through City Plants, the Los Angeles Conservation Corps, and Koreatown Youth and Community Center.
Watch the lunch and learn presentation in full here: