CSUN Institute for Sustainability Helps Nurture Urban Climate in Pacoima Homes and at Charter School

  • Kids around the community paint and decorate rocks. Photo provided by Helen Cox.

  • Families dig a hole in preparation of peppering the community with trees. Photo provided by Helen Cox.

  • CSUN's Institute of Sustainability hosts a day of giving in Pacoima. Photo provided by Helen Cox.

California State University, Northridge’s Institute for Sustainability took part in helping transform the city of Pacoima by planting 55 trees at the Vaughn Next Century Learning Center’s G3 campus.

CSUN’s Institute for Sustainability hosted the Social Equity Tree Planting event, which is part of a larger social equity and urban climate resilience goal between the Institute of Sustainability and grant funder, California ReLeaf.

Institute for Sustainability project coordinator Marlene Cardozo said the decision to plant the trees in Pacoima was based off its high score on the CalEnviroScreen, a mapping tool that helps identify California communities most affected by pollution.

“Our Institute for Sustainability is a strong advocate for environmental justice,” Cardozo said. “By planting these trees, we are creating a long-term positive change that combats the greenhouse gas emissions and increases public health around [Vaughn Charter School].”

CSUN’s Civil Discourse and Social Change, Sustainability students and local high school students volunteered for the event, which saw 150 community members in attendance. Families took home 75 free trees, showerheads, LED light bulbs and some signed up for free solar installations.

The tree planting was funded by the California ReLeaf Social Equity Grant, which aims to bring more trees to urban areas with high CalEnviroScreen scores, according to Cardozo.

For more information, visit the Institute for Sustainability website.

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