Cool Schools Tree Planting and Education Program

A Good Idea

This practice has been Archived and is no longer maintained.


The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power partnered with the Los Angeles Unified School District to plant trees around school buildings in order to create shade that makes classrooms cooler, therefore providing more comfortable learning environments while using electricity more efficiently. A corresponding curriculum teaches children how to be good environmental stewards, with lessons in biology, botany, and horticulture.
In addition to benefiting the students, the Cool Schools program engages at-risk youth aged 18 to 25 years to plant trees and educate students. The program provides employment opportunities, teaches job skills, supports career development, enhances environmental awareness and promotes civic involvement.

Goal / Mission

Cool Schools aims to reduce energy consumption, improve air quality, teach children about the environment, create greener spaces for children to learn and play, and provide career development assistance to young adults.

Results / Accomplishments

A review of this program by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service indicated that for each dollar spent on Cool Schools, approximately $2.37 is returned in the form of reduced energy expenditures, improved air quality, increased property value and scenic quality, as well as improved human health and well-being. In the first two years of the program participation of over 400 at-risk young adults participated in the program.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
No current contact information available
Environment / Energy & Sustainability
Environment / Built Environment
Education / School Resources
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Geographic Type
Los Angeles
For more details
Target Audience
Children, Teens