Introducing LA Urban Center's Tree Ambassador - Promotor Forestal Program
Your city. Your voice. Your urban forest.

The Tree Ambassador – Promotor Forestal Program is a grassroots, bilingual community organizing pilot program dedicated to amplifying community voices and planting trees in historically disinvested communities in Los Angeles.

This program provides on-the-ground, community-centered support to residents in low-canopy and urban heat vulnerable regions of the city by paying residents directly to organize for a greener and more equitable future.

Tree Ambassadors participate in a 10-month paid training program and receive support from urban forestry and climate resilience experts to plant and care for more trees in their own communities. 14 Tree Ambassadors have been onboarded for this pilot chorot.

To learn more about the program & to access the Bilingual Community Action Toolkit:
Building Bridges in Green Spaces Through Technology & Research

This year, City Plants and the LA Urban Center have been working with Dr. Vivek Shandas and "LA Urban Forest Equity Collective" to examine and address the inequitable distribution of LA’s urban forest. Dr. Shandas debuted his findings at our Spring Partners Meeting on May 12th..

The recording is now available to those who missed the event!
You can also find the published the final reports here.

Download and explore:

Funding for this project provided by Tree People and Accelerate Resilience LA.

Two infographics were created based on the reports published by Dr. Vivek Shandas and CAPA Strategies.
Tree Preference Study Published this Month
Plant your street! A research game exploring tree selection and placement in an urban neighborhood

This project engaged visitors to public venues in the City of Los Angeles in a ‘plant your street’ research game, where they navigated a gameboard, depicting a neighborhood, including more public (e.g. a city park) and private areas, such as the understudied backyard.

Three questions were explored:
  1. What trees do people prefer around their homes and why?
  2. Will the option of planting in different neighborhood areas influence preferences and placements?
  3. Will tree descriptions, highlighting a prominent ecosystem service, be associated with selection and placement?

Participants “thought aloud” as they played the game. Their selections and placements, as well as their comments and reasoning, were documented, coded and analyzed. Results revealed that some trees were selected more often than others overall, and, within different neighborhood areas.

Themes underlying these decisions included: perceived tree services and geography and personal connection. Findings provide an improved understanding of urban tree planting preferences and may help inform residential tree planting programs.

Who wants to play?
LA River Watershed STEW-MAP
STEWardship Mapping and Assessment Project
In 2016, the LA Urban Center developed a research partnership with Loyola Marymount University’s Center for Urban Resilience to support the Los Angeles Stewardship Mapping and Assessment Project (LA STEW-MAP).

Led by LMU research scientist Dr. Michele Romolini, LA STEW-MAP is part of a national research program that seeks to answer the questions: 

  • Which environmental stewardship groups are working across urban landscapes?
  • Where, why, how, and to what effect? 
STEW-MAP defines a “stewardship group” as a civic organization or group that works to conserve, manage, monitor, advocate for, and/or educate the public about their local environments. Through a web-based organizational survey, researchers gather information on the characteristics of stewardship groups, the locations of their stewardship activities, and how they collaborate and share information through networks.

LA STEW-MAP results will offer an improved understanding of where and how environmental stewardship organizations are working in Los Angeles. One applied goal of the project is to use the data to produce resources including maps and reports that can be used by stewardship organizations.
Network Relationships

Groups were asked to list the organizations that they work with for collaborative stewardship projects. The 96 respondents named 780 partnerships! These data are still being cleaned and analyzed and the results will be part of the final LA River STEW-MAP report.

The below is a network diagram from the LA County STEW-MAP, to illustrate how the stewardship relationships may be visualized.
Growing Vibrant LA Communities Webinar - Save Water and Trees

Tues | November 9, 2021  10:00 am - 12:30 pm

City Plants is proud to partner with StreetsLA to host a quarterly free webinar series designed to empower, educate, and connect Angelenos to urban forestry, sustainability, and climate resilience programs, strategies, and research throughout the region. Growing Vibrant LA Communities is a quarterly webinar series designed to deliver action to Angelenos as we pave the way for an inclusive urban forest management plan for Los Angeles.

This will be an online event.
LA Urban Center Calendar
Stay connected with everything happening at the LA Urban Center!
We keep our online calendar up-to-date with events and activities, including our monthly webinar series.
The LA Urban Center operates through a partnership among the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region and Research Station and the City of Los Angeles (City Plants and Recreation and Parks). Joining in this collaboration are the many Federal, State, and local government partners as well as academia, industry, private, and non-profit organizations concerned with urban natural resources and socioecological resilience. Meet Our Partners Here.