Tree People photo
Tree People dedicates five years of care for each tree it plants. (Photo courtesy of Tree People.)

The cool shade of a tree makes a hot day more bearable. But in San Fernando, California, a small city near downtown Los Angeles, that relief is hard to find.

Montañez: “Not only do you have concrete everywhere, you have very few trees in that community.”

That’s Cindy Montañez of the nonprofit “Tree People.”

She says climate change is making the heat in San Fernando worse. Twenty-five years ago, the city experienced about 50 days a year with temperatures over 95 degrees. That number is likely to double to almost 100 days by mid-century.

Montañez: “If we do nothing in San Fernando, we will see severe impacts from climate change.”

”‘If Click To Tweet

So Tree People is taking action. It’s launched a five-year project to help cool the city by planting a thousand trees along the city streets.

And, to prepare for the effects of more frequent droughts, the group will replace concrete along streets and sidewalks with gardens that capture rainwater. This will help reduce run-off and replenish groundwater supplies.

Montañez: “Tree People have embarked on a very aggressive campaign to transform this small city to a community that’s more climate resilient and water secure.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Eileen Mignoni

Eileen Mignoni is a South Florida-based visual journalist who has been working on stories about science, the environment, and energy for nearly 10 years. In addition to her work at Yale Climate Connections,...