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North East Trees Revitalizes LA with the Power of Nature


Photo by: Caitlin Jane Calica

[The following mid-year update was written by the organization and then sent to us for further sharing.]

In the heart of Northeast Los Angeles, nestled within the verdant expanse of Ascot Hills Park, lies a beacon of ecological hope and restoration: the Hyper-local Native Plants Nursery, championed by North East Trees (NET). This nursery isn't just a repository of flora; it represents a deep-seated commitment to reviving the natural world and fostering connections within our community. Its roots are steeped in history, standing on a site once earmarked for public recreation in the 1930s Olmsted Plan and later transformed into the Legion Ascot Speedway. Despite these transformations, its original purpose was lost to time when the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power repurposed the land. Today, this space embodies our collective mission to "Bring Nature Back" and serves as a vital educational and ecological hub.

With the support of the Goldhirsh Foundation’s LA2050 Grants Challenge, NET has significantly expanded the capacity of the Hyper-local Native Plants Nursery, allowing us to connect in more profound and meaningful ways with the community. This funding has been crucial, allowing us to hire Luis Sierra Campos as our first Community Engagement Manager. Mr. Sierra Campos, with his 20 years of experience in community organizing, ecological education, and digital storytelling, enhances our efforts to nurture a symbiotic relationship with the natural environment and empower residents to become active environmental guardians for their community.

Photo by: Adam Duffy

Access to green spaces is increasingly recognized as essential for mental health, particularly in urban settings. A recent study by Texas A&M University reveals that urban dwellers with regular access to green spaces are less likely to require mental health services. This research underscores the importance of our work, demonstrating how urban greenery beautifies and heals, providing a much-needed refuge in the dense urban metropolis of Los Angeles. NET is dedicated to healing environmental injustices through community-based urban forestry, nature-based design-build, habitat restoration, and workforce development. Operating primarily in underinvested areas of Los Angeles—including Northeast, East, and South LA—NET empowers community members to enhance climate resiliency through community-building, nature-based education, advocacy, and land stewardship.

Photo by: Caitlin Jane Calica

As NET continues to grow and flourish, we invite all members of the LA2050 community and future grantees to witness firsthand the transformative power of our Hyper-local Native Plants Nursery. Keep an eye out for upcoming opportunities to engage directly with our community programming—whether through volunteer events, educational workshops, or community planting days. Your involvement helps us expand our reach and strengthens the bonds within our community, fostering a greener, more resilient Los Angeles. Join us in this vital mission to bring nature back to the urban landscape and empower a new generation of environmental stewards.

AuthorNorth East Trees