Youth Environmental Equity Tour

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A few weeks ago, APIOPA was apart of organizing a youth environmental equity tour from Lennox to Koreatown. Some local Tongan youth joined us and they enjoyed the tour and learned about the different projects going on in their own district. It began at Lennox Park and Scott shared some information behind the changes that have been made and how APIOPA has contributed to it in hopes of creating a more peaceful, safe, and friendly park for everyone, especially for the Tongan community. Simote Tuifua, a FAB member and church member of the Lennox Tongan United Methodist Church, which is just a five minute walk from the park, shared that although the changes are a great improvement, the gang violence between the Latino and Tongan gangs is still a recurring issue. It is one of the main reasons behind the fear that has driven local Tongan folks to stay away from this park in particular. It’ll take some time to educate people about it and how they can be apart of creating solutions, but this is a good start. Everyone deserves access to a park where they feel safe and can be active with their families!

img_9080_22307400373_o[1]Stanford & Emma Uipi

Next stop of the tour was the Lennox Community Garden, which was full of fresh herbs and vegetables for everyone to see. There were some beautiful pele and taro leaves the kids recognized and we learned it’s being grown by a local Tongan community member. There are plantations of this back in Tonga, so it’s nice to see our elders apply their knowledge about food and cultivation here in America.

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We got to plant some fruit trees with Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas!

img_9144_22536416499_o[1]Norman O. Houston Park

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After planting trees we went to Koreatown to check out air pollution monitoring at Seoul International Park and discuss the need for more green spaces in the community.

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This was really cool! We went to check out a hanging garden put together by the Koreatown Youth Community Center. It was a great way to end the tour. Our Islands in the Pacific are being impacted by climate change, and this is a good way to get our youth involved at a local level to see what they can do to create a better and sustainable environment they live in.

 

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