A donation from Southwest Gas is expected to provide 1,000 trees in places where they will do plenty of work — in people’s yards.
Nevada Plants, a new nonprofit that has been drumming up support in the community, will get $25,000 from the utility company. The nonprofit is supported by grants and public funding, and advocates for putting trees in places where they will provide shade for homes and yards.
Lisa Ortega, executive director and founder of Nevada Plants, said she welcomes the contribution. “I appreciate them stepping forward to work in the urban heat islands and the food deserts. I think that work is critically important right now,” she said. Before the new funding was secured, Nevada Plants had planted 300 trees in residential yards.
Ortega said she is working with Clark County and the City of Las Vegas to identify the best places to plant. Among the targets are neighborhoods where people rely on public transportation. Shading bus stops and sidewalks in those neighborhoods fits with her goals.
“We are busy planting trees in Nevada,” Ortega said. “Our focus is adding fruit trees to our food deserts, and native and desert adaptive species in our urban and rural communities to combat the ever-increasing urban heat island.”
Ortega spoke about the need for planting trees at an Aug. 11 stop by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael S. Regan at the Doolittle Community Center. At the same event, U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford asked if residents were interested in more community gardens to produce food, and there was some support for the idea.
In announcing the donation, Southwest Gas said it has contributed more than $3.7 million to agencies in Southern Nevada over the past 10 years.
“Southwest Gas makes substantial efforts to partner with our communities on projects that enhance the quality of life in our service territories while providing sustainable, environmentally friendly solutions,” said Dr. Laura S. Nelson, vice president of Sustainability and Public Policy.
Southwest Gas employees contribute money and thousands of hours in service to non-profit organizations each year, the company said.
We are on the ground planting trees to increase shade and help cool down neighborhoods. With your help, we can do even more. Click below to make a contribution.