DOI / VISTA Team Projects

Los Angeles River/North East Trees

Melissa Gomez

DOI / VISTA: Melissa Gomez
Supervisor: Aaron Thomas
Address: 570 W Ave 26,Suite 200, Los Angeles, California 90065
County: Los Angeles
Voice Telephone: 323-547-0606
Web site:
Congressional District: 34
Bureau: National Park Service (NPS)


The mission of North East Trees is to restore nature's services in resource challenged communities, through a collaborative resource development, implementation, and stewardship process. They design and build parks which provide passive recreation opportunities and serve as gateways to bike paths, pedestrian and equestrian trails. They also train at-risk youth from underserved neighborhoods. By focusing the training on strengthening their professional skills and understanding of urban forestry, arboriculture, landscape design and maintenance, North East Trees provides them with usable skills and a path that enables them to pursue employment opportunities in the Green Industry. 

About the Surrounding Community

Many residents in river communities have been historically-underserved in terms of access to natural and socio-economic resources (see, e.g., Revitalization of the Los Angeles River is intended to provide new public access to such resources by removing physical barriers, providing multimodal connections to existing amenities, and by creating new natural, recreational, educational, vocational, and cultural opportunities through an interconnected network of trail, park, open space, and community development projects. As the river becomes a more desirable destination for residents and visitors and attracts more attention and investment, more jobs will be created.

North East Trees (NET) has been addressing both environmental stewardship and job creation through their Youth Environmental Stewards (YES) program with a hands-on approach. NET educates and trains at-risk youth (ARY) and young adults in environmental disciplines. The YES program is intended as a workforce development within communities that have the highest percentage of ARY in communities in north east Los Angeles, as well as other similar communities in the greater Los Angeles area.

Project Overview

DOI/VISTA Melissa Gomez is recruiting and facilitating the training of residents from the river corridor neighborhoods so that they will be qualified with the skills necessary to fill jobs in environmental stewardship-related professions associated with revitalization of the Los Angeles River watershed and management of other natural resources in the urban region. She also supports the Youth Environmental Stewards (YES) program by developing recruitment and training program to provide new skills to existing residents in river communities that will make them more competitive in obtaining the environmental stewardship-related jobs that will arise from the river’s long-term revitalization. The experience will also help residents learn more about the history of their city, other river corridor communities, and foster community pride and civic vigilance. 

Sponsors and Partners

For more information please visit: