Improving Urban Canopy and Tree Trimming on Winnetka

Blumenfield with Adel Hagekhalil, General Manager of the Bureau of Street Services (BSS); as well as Assistant Directors Keith Mozee and Greg Spotts; and BSS tree trimming crews on Winnetka Ave.

Blumenfield with Adel Hagekhalil, General Manager of the Bureau of Street Services (BSS); as well as Assistant Directors Keith Mozee and Greg Spotts; and BSS tree trimming crews on Winnetka Ave.

Since City Councilmember Blumenfield became Chair of the City’s Public Works Committee about a year and a half ago, his goals have included getting Public Works back to pre-recession levels of resources and staffing and focusing on proactive measures to create and sustain a healthy urban tree canopy. On March 20, Councilmember Blumenfield led the City Council’s Public Works Committee to approve several new measures to increase tree service efficiency. This includes conducting a thorough tree inventory; increasing tree trimming, dead tree removal and root pruning to ensure safe sidewalks; and creating jobs for more Targeted Local Hire workers instead of contracting out work which is often less cost effective.

In last year’s budget, Blumenfield was able to secure a dramatic increase in funding to LA’s Urban Forestry Division that was decimated during the Great Recession. His committee directed the Bureau of Street Services to pursue a state grant to conduct a much needed street tree inventory which will help assess the needs of each tree. The committee also approved to moving forward with many of Controller Ron Galperin’s recommendations in his recent audit of the City’s tree trimming and maintenance program.