The Laboratory for Environmental Strategies at UCLA, or LENS, received a $545,000 grant from Bezos Earth Fund to help local journalists from ethnic media inform their communities in diverse languages about major infrastructure projects that affect their lives.
Jon Christensen, a LENS founder and UCLA adjunct assistant professor, said community input is essential to make sure infrastructure projects funded by federal, state and local investments are designed and built in an environmentally just way and benefit underserved areas. LENS will work with local media to keep communities informed with the latest research so new projects are tailored to their needs.
Parks are often viewed as places for fun and recreation but are also critical to the mental and physical health of residents, Christensen said. A study from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health concluded that bringing all tree canopy and park spaces throughout L.A. County up to the median would add nearly a million years of life expectancy to current residents.
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Image Source: Ethnic Media Services