LA's Urban Forest: Accomplishments in 2020

Posted on 12/24/2020
Streetscape with palm trees and colorful sunset

None of us will be sorry to see the end of 2020! That’s why it’s so important to celebrate the good things that happened this year and highlight our successes as we look toward another challenging year. It's important to note that even during a difficult year, our work was true to our guiding principles: remaining rooted in science, utilizing partnerships to leverage the City’s core competencies, and encouraging understanding and investment in the four pillars of urban forestry (add link to previous blog).

We launched our “Lunch and Learn with the City Forest Officer” series to provide a forum for residents to learn more about different urban forestry topics and to ask questions. At the same time, our partners at Streets LA and City Plants started the “Growing Vibrant L.A. Communities” series, a bilingual education forum about urban forestry issues. More community input was received, as always, at Community Forestry Advisory Committee (CFAC) meetings. 

We were very successful in our fundraising efforts in 2020, having been awarded almost $5Million in grants to put toward development of the Urban Forestry Management Plan (UFMP) and planting thousands of new trees. Our strategy for UFMP public outreach is now in development. In addition, a new successful partnership with Google has provided us with a new tool for measuring tree canopy in conjunction with other data sets, which is one more tool to help us determine the areas of greatest need as we focus on improving tree equity in the new UFMP. Our Equity Visiting Scholar also began working to deepen our understanding of how we might address some of the complexities and barriers to increasing tree canopy. We also began collecting data for the street tree inventory and continued work on the Recreation and Parks tree inventory, collectively making up the City’s first comprehensive Tree Inventory, which will comprise an important part of the UFMP. 

To follow on to these accomplishments, we have a lot of exciting things coming in 2021. In addition to moving forward on the UFMP and the Tree Inventory, we will be working on updating the Protected Tree Ordinance and furthering our work to address tree canopy equity. Stay tuned for more information about our upcoming work in 2021! And Happy holidays! 

Mark your calendars for 2021: 

  • “Lunch and Learn with the City Forest Officer” resumes on January 13 at 12:30pm.
  • The next “Growing Vibrant L.A. Communities: Urban Tree Canopy Equity” is on February 9th (English) and February 10th (Spanish).