by A Moreno, J Tangenburg, BN Hilton, JK Hilton
ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 4(2):607-6252015
Trees in urban environments are known to provide multiple benefits including saving energy, reducing air pollution and reducing stormwater runoff. However, trees are often planted without knowledge of best locations, maintenance needs or the suitability of the species. Additionally, sun safety is also rarely considered in school re-designs.The LAUSD (Lose Angeles United School District) School Shade Tree Canopy Study was conducted to assess urban forestry management and environmental justice issues in the district. 509 elementary schools were mapped to determine the tree canopy coverage, pervious/impervious areas, and buildings at each school. Findings of the study revealed a wide range of school site size, tree canopy coverage as a percentage of school site size, tree canopy coverage as a percentage of play area, and percentage of unpaved surface areas. Implications from the study may alter how the LAUSD implements sun safe policies which could help prevent skin cancer and other negative health outcomes for the students.