Growing a Green Future at Carthay Elementary

A green future is a bright future when it involves our schools.

Last month, TreePeople, along with our partners Boeing and The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation, helped transform the campus of Carthay Center Elementary School. With the aid of students, teachers, and all manner of volunteers from the local community, our team installed an interactive learning garden of over 600 native plants at the front of the campus! Every plant was carefully chosen for its value to local birds and insects, offering the students new ways to learn and connect with the natural world that surrounds us.

The project would not have been possible if not for the heart and spirit of the school’s first graders.

Seeing a need for a change, they each wrote a letter to the district requesting that the school’s front lawn be removed and replaced with a landscape that was not only more water-friendly but also provided food and shelter for local wildlife. Their request did not fall on deaf ears–LAUSD responded with a design that set a new standard for drought tolerant and habitat supportive landscaping in LA schools.

“We could not be more excited about this transformation at Carthay Circle Elementary,” said Michael Wooten, TreePeople’s Campus Forestry Project Manager. “The students here envisioned a new active and welcoming habitat that will welcome families and neighbors to the school.”

To complete the transformation, the students of Carthay led the charge.

With the morning sun shining down they grabbed shovels and broke the usual Saturday morning calm along this residential stretch of Olympic Boulevard in Mid-City. Their smiles were infectious as they dug in and got their hands dirty, working well into the afternoon to make sure each and every plant was comfortable in its new home and got a welcoming drink of water to ensure its vibrant future.

Here at TreePeople, we believe that our youngest generation is the greatest asset we have in the fight for a more sustainable and climate-ready LA. The work at Carthay Circle Elementary is just further proof of the change our youth can make.

Do you want to help us create a greener future?

Join us for one of our campus plantings and help us change the lives of children across LA!

As staff photographer and videographer, Adam brings a decade long passion in telling people's stories to TreePeople. From the joy of a tree planting to the behind the scenes efforts of our policy advocacy and restoration work, Adam captures it through his lens so it can be shared with the world. When he's not behind the camera, he can most likely be found curled up with his cat Kinsella.