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The American Spirit: Treeman

(CBS)
Brent Green is one of those guys who makes me realize I don't do nearly enough for my community.

He had an idea so simple, it's transformational.

When he turned 30 he decided he wanted to give something back to his hometown of Los Angeles. So, this landscaper planted 30 trees.

Every year since then, Brent has planted his age in trees. This year that's 41 trees.

His efforts have done more than add shade to the streets. His neighbors have taken Brent's advice on how to spruce up their front yards, started a block watch group, and convinced the city to paint the dilapidated fire hydrants in their area.

Now, crime is down 30 percent as police officers say criminals tend to avoid areas where neighbors take care of their properties. Better looking neighborhoods often means more watchful neighbors. All this began with a shovel, a tree, and a simple act of gratitude.

Be sure to catch Brent Green's story tonight on the CBS Evening News.