A post from the Alliance for Community Trees, Treebune News:
New York, NY - A feature-length documentary, CITY OF TREES, will have its U.S. television premiere Tuesday, April 19, 2016, at 8 p.m. on WORLD Channel, as part of the fourth season of AMERICA REFRAMED. It features an initiative in Washington DC to put long-term unemployed residents back to work through a green job training program -- planting trees.
A project nearly six years in the making, CITY OF TREES is a personal story about the struggle to make social, economic and environmental change in the thick of the worst recession in a generation. With unemployment exceeding 25 percent in D.C.’s Ward 8 in 2010, nonprofit Washington Parks & People receives a $2.7 million stimulus grant to put long-term unemployed residents back to work through a new green job training program.
Steve Coleman, a grassroots environmental activist who directs the organization, is tasked with using the grant to hire 150 unemployed residents from Southeast D.C. to plant several thousand trees in the city’s most blighted urban parks. For Charles Holcomb, the paycheck offers him a chance to give his newborn daughter the life he never had. For Michael Samuels, the job training is a first step forward after a drug conviction marred his employment record. For James Magruder, the program offers a chance to prove that his neighborhood roots position him as an unsung leader.
CITY OF TREES offers a critical new perspective on the challenges of retraining our workforce and rebuilding the natural environments in our cities for the 21st century. What sounds like a simple goal—putting people back to work by planting trees in a blighted neighborhood—opens up a complex web of personal and community challenges. At a time when building community and helping people obtain jobs and job readiness skills are needed more than ever, CITY OF TREES thrusts viewers into the inspiring but messy world of job training and the paradoxes changemakers face in urban communities everyday.
The film will also be available for free streaming on www.worldchannel.org starting April 20, 2016. Learn more.