The San Fernando High School senior arose at 6 a.m. sharp to participate in the National Public Lands Day celebration last year. The event was one of many across the country that brought volunteers together to help care for and restore the country’s public lands, including national parks and national forests.
“I feel I have a connection with nature and I feel a need to give back,” Francisco said. “I love nature. I want to make a difference in the community and that’s why I’m here. It’s a day for everyone to take a moment to appreciate all that we have here in Los Angeles.”
Francisco’s science club classmate Jennifer Gomez, 15, concurred.
“Nature has given us nice scenery and lots of nice places to enjoy,” she said. “It’s really good to give back and say thank you. I want to help restore the park so more people can come out and enjoy it. Lots of kids stay inside and I think restoring the forest would maybe make them want to come out and enjoy it.”
In L.A. County, the Angeles National Forest, designated one of 14 treasured landscapes across the country by the National Forest Foundation, recently served as the location for this year’s National Public Lands Day event where about 60 volunteers did forest restoration, trail maintenance and removed invasive species.
Among the volunteers doing trail maintenance along a three-quarter mile stretch was Caroline Choi, vice president of Integrated Planning and Environmental Affairs for Southern California Edison (SCE). She has served on the board of the forest foundation for the past two years.
“It was a lot of fun working with others on forest restoration,” she said.
Through the support of volunteers, the healing continues to help parts of the Angeles National Forest damaged in the 2009 Station Fire which burned for two months and devastated 252 square miles. Since then, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Forest Foundation have been working to improve conditions in the Angeles National Forest.
In 2013, in a continuing effort to help the organization implement its Station Fire Restoration Strategy, Edison International provided the National Forest Foundation with a $150,000 grant funded entirely by shareholders.
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To learn more about Edison's philanthropic programs, read Power in Partnerships: Community Investment Report 2014.