PHOTOS: Renewal of Elysian Park Tree Canopy Supported by Public Private Partnership


ELYSIAN PARK - Arbor Day Foundation and Boise Paper, together with the Office of Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell and City Plants, hosted a volunteer tree planting to replenish the tree canopy in Elysian Park. The event is made possible by a host of partners, including the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP), the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), Office Depot, Inc., and the Los Angeles Conservation Corps (LACC).

"The park is a regional asset beloved by its neighbors in Echo Park, Elysian Valley, and all the world over," said Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell. "This major reforest project is a significant step toward strengthening the park's biodiversity with the latest drought-resilient technology. I want to thank our corporate sponsors Boise Paper and Office Depot, as well as our city departments, for creating a plan that will benefit future generations of Angelenos."

The Elysian Park project will host three volunteer events, each planting up to 100 trees.  Boise Paper and Office Depot employees and customers, together with City Plants and community residents, joined in the first phase on Saturday, October 15, at the corner of Scott Avenue and Elysian Park Drive, in Elysian Park.  See photos from the first event here.

"'Paper with Purpose' is a promise we make to invest in the local communities our customers and employees call home," said Paul LeBlanc, Vice President, Boise Paper.  "While Elysian Park is much larger than we've historically funded through Project UP, we're excited to be involved with such an innovative approach that benefits the community with a thriving and healthy urban canopy, right in the heart of L.A.”

Support from the Los Angeles community comes from LADWP which is providing Land Life Cocoons as part of a pilot program. The cocoons are a water-saving irrigation technology used on trees that bring shade and energy saving benefits. Additionally, the Los Angeles Conservation Corps is providing volunteers at each planting event.

“This project not only grows our urban canopy but also implements a water-saving technology that will help ensure that the trees that we plant thrive,” said Commissioner William Funderburk, Vice President of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners.  “This is a great example of a simple yet effective way for us to work together and save water, promote energy efficiency, clean the air and enhance neighborhoods. LADWP is pleased to be part of this public-private partnership.”

Elysian Park is the oldest and third largest park in Los Angeles. Founded in 1886 the park encompasses 618 acres. This project supports the ongoing reforestation efforts of the city to maintain and preserve this historic space which over the past few years has faced canopy decline because of die out and a variety of climate issues.

“The Department of Recreation and Parks is grateful for the overwhelming contribution of volunteers and all of the partners involved in the much needed replenishment of the tree canopy in Elysian Park,” said Michael A. Shull, General Manager, Department of Recreation and Parks. “Elysian Park is one of Los Angeles’ historic treasures and we support the preservation of this park and the use of drought-resilient technology to plant new trees during a time in which water conservation is a priority.”

“This project is an excellent example of what can happen when many different partners come together to invest in the next generation of LA’s trees,” said Elizabeth Skrzat, Program Director for City Plants.City Plants worked with LA Recreation & Parks and LADWP to apply for a grant from the Arbor Day Foundation and Boise Project UP to make this project possible.  

Previous Project UP recipients include Indianapolis, Indiana; Baltimore, Maryland; Opa-locka, Florida; Toronto, Canada; Atlanta, Georgia; and Chicago, Illinois.