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Local group promotes environmental justice by planting trees in South Omaha

Posted at 12:46 PM, Jun 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-05 13:46:06-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Volunteers in South Omaha spent their Saturday morning planting trees.

“We have planted in the rain today, 85 diverse shade trees for neighbors and neighbor yards along right of ways along parking lots,” said Diana Failla, Executive Director of Urban Nature Alliance.

They met in the Indian Hills Neighborhood with hopes to improve the neighborhood in many ways.

“Trees beautify a neighborhood and all people we believe deserve to live in beautiful areas and nature right. But it's far more than just beautification,” said Failla.

The organization has the goal to improve environmental justice in the neighborhood.

“Basically what that means is that all people have adequate and accessible representation that they are part of the decision-making process when it comes to the environment,” said Failla.

Failla also says having a good amount of trees in neighborhoods improves air quality and reduces heat from concrete surfaces in the summertime. She and other volunteers say they can have a big impact on neighborhood involvement.

“You get to involve the community and people really have a sense of ownership in the community because they feel you okay I've planted this tree now and I have a responsibility to kind of take care of the community,” said volunteer Jack Parr.

Much like the trees they are planting, volunteers want to see all these positive impacts take root.

“I think by doing events like this it just raises awareness for everybody and it also helps improve the environment in the smallest way possible,” said Parr.

The Urban Nature Alliance has been holding tree-planting events for the past decade.

They hope to hold another event in the fall.

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