LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced the appointment of Rachel Malarich as City Forest Officer — a new post created to oversee the growth of Los Angeles’ urban forest and help the City reach its goal to plant 90,000 trees by 2021.
“Rachel has the vision, experience, and expertise necessary to lead the work of lining our streets with more trees and building a greener tomorrow,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Every tree we plant can help stem the tide of the climate crisis, and when we expand our urban forest, we can sow the seeds of a healthier, more sustainable future for communities across our city.”
Mayor Garcetti created the post of City Forest Officer within the Board of Public Works to help implement the urban forestry goals outlined in L.A.’s Green New Deal. These goals include planting 90,000 trees by 2021 and increasing tree canopy by at least 50 percent by 2028 in areas with the least shade, which tend to be the City’s hottest, low-income communities.
As Los Angeles’ City Forest Officer, Malarich will lead efforts to manage and expand the largest urban forest in the United States. She will be responsible for spearheading the development of a citywide Urban Forest Management Plan and ensuring all of the City’s departments and external partners use an integrated approach to achieve a shared vision for L.A.’s urban forest.
“Trees do more than contribute to the look and feel of our neighborhoods — they are a key tool to protect vulnerable populations, improve public health, and enhance community well-being for all Angelenos,” said Malarich. “I am honored to serve our great city under the Mayor’s leadership to help manage and expand our urban forest and prepare Los Angeles to confront the rising crisis of climate change.”
Malarich has spent over 12 years working to increase tree canopy in urban areas throughout Southern California, devise strategic management plans to expand urban forests, and promote community engagement. She spent over a decade with Tree People, where she served as the Director of Forestry for more than three years, and worked as the Assistant Director of Environmental Services for Koreatown Youth and Community Center. Malarich is a Certified Arborist and is Tree Risk Assessment Qualified by the International Society of Arboriculture.