Assessing Urban Canopy Program in Redlands California
Author: Joseph Angel Rocha IV
Publication: California State University, San Bernardino - CSUSB Works
Climate change can cause major environmental and human health issues especially in lower income and minority communities (Ros et al. 2020; Bethel et al. 2022). Although studies note tree coverage alone cannot solve all climate related problems (Pataki, et al. 2021; Ross, 2021), tree coverage does provide alleviation for climate change related factors (Free-Smith, et al. 2004). Some ways trees can combat climate change is through improved air quality, improved water quality, and decreasing impacts of Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE) (Nowak et al. 2018; Liu, Liu, 2021; Wang, Zhao, et al 2017). Although throughout the United States there is a problem with tree equity with higher income white majority areas having more tree cover than low-income minority areas (Poon, 2021). In California particularly there are tree equity issues stretching from Sacramento, Fresno, Los Angeles, and San Diego to name a few cities where lower income communities lack coverage compared to wealthier areas (Gammon 2021; American Forests, 2022). California Governor Gavin Newsome signed into action California Climate Action Corps (CAC) with the goal of supporting communities throughout the state to fight climate issues (Civic Sparks, 2020). The CAC partnered with the Inland Empire Resource Conservation District (IERCD) to increase canopy cover in northern Redlands, CA (IERCD, 2021). Part of the project goal for CAC and IERCD was to serve lower income minority communities (IERCD, 2021). The goal of the research is twofold, the first being looking at the spatial extent of environmental and socio-economic issues to understand the extent of tree canopy across diverse socio-economic communities within the City of Redlands while the second is understanding the success and limitations of the program based on the CAC and IERCD goals.