Greening Thompson Ranch School

Project Profile

Project Location

El Mirage, AZ

Project Lead

Arizona Sustainability Alliance





Arizona Sustainability Alliance (AZSA) is committed to increasing the tree canopy in low income, low canopy areas throughout Arizona. AZSA used American Forests’ Tree Equity Score Analyzer to identify a census tract in need of trees in El Mirage, AZ with the lowest tree equity score.

Thompson Ranch Elementary School is a Title I school in this area, providing education and resources for children from low-income families. In partnership with Thompson Ranch Elementary School, Dysart School District, and the City of El Mirage, AZSA planted 53 native, drought resistant trees at the grammar school. Trees were planted in areas identified by the school as high need of shade for students health and well-being. Check out the Impact Summary that provides a snapshot of the scores and project achievements.

Impact Summary – AZSA Greening Thompson Ranch School

Every tree planting project demonstrates impacts that create a more just and sustainable future. AZSA focused on planting trees to provide benefits focused on urban heat reduction for children at Thompson Ranch Elementary School.

Human Health

Air Quality - 8
Urban Heat - 12
Active Living - 2
Wellness and Mental Health - 6
Social Health - 3

Social Equity

Inequity Context - 2
Site Selection - 7
Community Engagement in Design - 1
Community Participation - 2
Economic Equity - 1


Site Prep - 16
Climate Action - 11
Water Quality and Quantity - 7
Habitat, Food and Wood Production - 0
Bioremediation - 0

The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs are a global call for action. These goals have the power to build a better future for everyone. Investment in this impact project drives action towards the following goals:

Good Health and Well Being

Trees planted at a school for young children will provide much-needed nature experiences and encourage recreation, which will improve mental health and wellness. Trees will cool the air, reduce extreme heat effects, and provide UV exposure protection.

Clean Water and Sanitation

AZSA worked with a landscape architect to identify four native species that are drought resistant and maximize shade. These water-efficient trees will improve infiltration rates.

Decent Work and Economic Growth

Investments in urban forests and other green infrastructure add significantly to green economic growth. AZSA supports local and small businesses by purchasing trees and materials nearby.

Reduce Inequalities

This project is focused on improving tree equity within neighborhoods lacking green space and specifically for vulnerable populations such as children. AZSA is engaging local residents and users, civic organizations, and informal community leaders in project design and stewardship.

Sustainable Cities and Communities

Urban forests make significant contributions to the environmental sustainability, economic viability and livability of cities. Located near high-traffic roads, trees at this site will improve air quality by screening fine particulates that are associated with higher risk of asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

Responsible Production and Consumption

Planting trees in areas with impervious surfaces lowers summer ambient temperatures and reduces electricity use and cost needed to cool nearby buildings.

Climate Action

The project will deliver local climate action through improved air quality, cooling relief in hot temperatures, and energy savings. AZSA is providing opportunities for community engagement and education.

Life on Land

AZSA chose the best plants for climate resilience. Trees planted will increase biodiversity and improve water quality and quantity.

Partnerships for Goals

This project is a collaborative effort between AZSA, Thompson Elementary School, Dysart School District, City of El Mirage, American Forests, and residents of the community. There will be ongoing community-based care and stewardship of the trees.

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