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.
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.
Urban Heat - 12
Active Living - 2
Wellness and Mental Health - 6
Social Health - 3
Site Selection - 7
Community Engagement in Design - 1
Community Participation - 2
Economic Equity - 1
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Planting trees in areas with impervious surfaces lowers summer ambient temperatures and reduces electricity use and cost needed to cool nearby buildings.
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.
AZSA chose the best plants for climate resilience. Trees planted will increase biodiversity and improve water quality and quantity.
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.