Los Angeles Parents Demand Greener Schoolyards

With asphalt temperatures reaching as much as 150 degrees, parents and advocates are asking the city’s school district to provide more shade, trees, and other heat mitigation features on its schoolyards and playgrounds.

2 minute read

August 24, 2022, 11:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Parents and advocates are calling on the Los Angeles Unified School District to implement more heat mitigation measures on its school playgrounds, where asphalt can reach temperatures of 150 degrees Fahrenheit, reports Jasmine Viel for CBS Los Angeles.

“LAUSD is one of the largest landowners in the city, owning 6,400 acres of schoolyards. These schoolyards that are covered in asphalt are some of the hottest places in every single neighborhood,” says Aleigh Lewis of Angelenos for Green Schools. While the district has announced plans to add more trees and greenery to its schoolyards, some parents are calling for more immediate action. “The quickest option, if you can't wait for trees to grow, is to just put shade structures,” said LAUSD parent Connor Clayton.

The Los Angeles Times brought attention to the issue in March, when Tony Barboza detailed the negative impacts of overheated asphalt schoolyards. Barboza noted that LAUSD’s superintendent, Alberto Carvalho, “promised to release a plan within his first 100 days to green schoolyards, starting with asphalt-dominated campuses in neighborhoods with the greatest need for open space.” 

In June, the district announced a new budget that includes funding for ‘greening schoolyards’ as well as a pilot program at Castellanos Elementary, reported Erin Stone in LAist. According to Stone’s article, “A recent study by the Trust for Public Land found that when factoring in benefits gained by greening schools, such as increased student attendance, better test scores, higher teacher retention and lower utility costs as a result of a cooler campus, California schools could save $600,000 over 20 years per campus.”

Thursday, August 18, 2022 in CBS Los Angeles

Aerial view of homes on beach in Maui, Hawaii

Hawaii Passes First Legislation Regulating Short-Term Rentals Statewide

The new law will give counties the power to limit number or short-term rentals and convert existing short-term rental units back into long-term residential housing.

May 13, 2024 - USA Today

Entrance to a drive-through car wash at night with green 'Enter' sign.

Ohio Towns Move to Ban New Car Washes

City officials in northeast Ohio are putting limits on how many car wash facilities can open in their towns.

May 16, 2024 - News 5 Cleveland

Rail tracks on the left, rustic log-built train station painted reddish brown with a green metal roof and concrete platform on the right, evergreen forest and bright blue sky with fluffy white clouds in the background.

More Passenger Rail Coming to Montana

Planning is underway to restore a 45-year-defunct regional passenger rail line connecting southern Montana to Billings and Amtrak’s east-west Empire Builder line from Seattle to Chicago.

May 14, 2024 - 8KPAX

Apartment For Rent Sign

HUD Proposal Would Soften ‘One-Strike’ Policy

Formerly incarcerated people are often barred from publicly subsidized housing, putting them at higher risk for homelessness and recidivism.

May 20 - Truthout

Water flowing through Glendale Narrows section of Los Angeles River in Glendale, California with a concrete bridge, power lines, and hills in background.

Los Angeles County Making Progress in Stormwater Capture

During this “super year” of storms, L.A. County has successfully captured 96 billion gallons of stormwater which is enough to meet the needs of about 2.4 million people a year.

May 20 - Los Angeles Times

Aerial Texas Hill Country at sunset, with an aerial view of a highway interchange and Interstate 35 in Austin, Texas.

The True Cost of Texas Highways

An explainer of the monetary, environmental, and social costs of exuberant road building.

May 20 - KERA News

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.