This year the Corps helped launch the Green Together Collaborative, a grassroots initiative to increase the climate resilience of Pacoima and Sun Valley through tree planting, solar panel installation, and active transportation. The northeast San Fernando Valley suffers from numerous environmental hazards including three elevated freeways, industrial uses, and a commercial airport. It is also one of the most vulnerable areas to climate change in the City of Los Angeles, with the number of extreme heat days predicted to multiply in the coming decades.
The Green Together Collaborative–which also includes Pacoima Beautiful, GRID Alternatives, LA Business Council, LA CleanTech Incubator, Trust for Public Land/LA, LADOT, LA Sanitation and Community Partners–received a grant of $23 million from the California Strategic Growth Council’s Transformative Climate Communities Program to demonstrate that meaningful community engagement coupled with strategic investments can reduce greenhouse gas emissions while advancing social equity, economic opportunity, and community resilience.
Nearly three million dollars will be dedicated to planting trees to increase the climate resilience of the community, and Corpsmembers will put 2,000 trees in the ground in the Pacoima-Sun Valley project area. This will provide work experience and on-the-job training for 100 opportunity youth recruited from the northeast San Fernando Valley. As part of a $1.5 million workforce development initiative in partnership with GRID Alternatives, 50 opportunity youth will subsequently have the option to get trained and certified in GRID Alternatives’ photovoltaic solar panel installation training program, or they may enter the Corps’ US EPA-funded Environmental Workforce Development Job Training Program. The latter would afford trainees marketable skills in environmental services, as well as increase the local labor pool for much needed remediation to counteract decades of environmental injustice in this community.