alipkisAndy Lipkis

Andy Lipkis is a practical visionary who has dedicated his life to healing the environment while improving the lives of individuals and communities. He founded TreePeople in Los Angeles in 1973 at age 18 and continues to serve as its President. Andy has spearheaded an approach using trees and forest-inspired technologies to make cities sustainable while mitigating floods, drought, pollution, and climate change. Called “Functioning Community Forests,” it is being demonstrated in L.A. as a model for cities everywhere.

All articles by alipkis

 

Happy Earth Month: Tip #1 Stock Up On Rain

You’re probably well aware that April 22nd is Earth Day, but did you know that the entire month of April pays tribute to our planet?

Around here, we’re making it easier than ever to honor Mother Nature and grow a greener city. Starting right here, right now, each week we’ll offer a new simple sustainable suggestion from our founder Andy Lipkis, from his home to yours.

First up, Andy maintains his yard and vegetable garden with rain barrels. Why? Because in Los Angeles, only 10-15% of our water comes from groundwater.… Read more >>

 

Drought Response Webinar with Andy Lipkis

On February 22, TreePeople’s Founder and President Andy Lipkis recorded a webinar on California’s current drought. TreePeople is on the front lines working with government agencies and utilities to produce a coordinated response to rapidly, smartly, and effectively solve the region’s short and long term water crises. We want you to get the inside story on how our city can not only survive but thrive during this drought.

Please click here to watch the recording of Andy’s lecture as he offers key insights into the present situation as well as what each of us can do to improve the forecast in coming months, years, and decades for all Californians.… Read more >>

 

Trees save our very lives. Literally.

This fact inspired me to write an article for The Jewish Journal in honor of Tu b’Shevat, the Jewish New Year or Birthday of the Trees.

For decades, students at Jewish schools and schools throughout Los Angeles County have planted seedlings with TreePeople to celebrate this holiday. But these days, tree planting has become much more than a symbolic act. Can planting the right trees in the right places, and ensuring they survive, really save lives? Yes.

Happiest of birthdays to you, trees!… Read more >>

 

Not Enough Water, L.A.? Look Up.

I am excited to announce that today’s edition of the Los Angeles Times carries a timely Op-Ed that I wrote titled, “Not enough water, L.A.? Look up.

Did Mulholland Get it Wrong?

Nearly one hundred years ago today, William Mulholland stood before a crowd of 40,000 near San Fernando and unfurled an American flag, signaling the official opening of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. As water from the Owens Valley rushed through the spillway for the first time, Mulholland exulted to the assembled onlookers, “There it is.… Read more >>

 

Forbes Features TreePeople’s Water Work

Our “sound bite” name of TreePeople is misleading. What we do goes way beyond trees. A recent article in Forbes describes the deeper side of our work, which is about building Los Angeles’ next water supply.

Trees are inextricably linked to water—capturing, cleansing and storing rainwater and protecting us from drought and floods. As such, they are an essential part of our city’s infrastructure. Not the built, costly, man-made “gray” infrastructure, but infrastructure that is green and living.

Read on (and catch our short video!) to see how investing in local water through investing in trees and other green infrastructure can grow our local economy.… Read more >>

 

Plug-In to the Los Angeles Business Council Summit

With TreePeople’s mission to inspire and engage people in making Los Angeles sustainable and healthy, we can’t ignore the role that our transportation system plays with its massive consumption of energy, and generation of CO2 and air pollution. Our streets, roads and highways are the primary mechanism whereby we pollute and throw away over $400 million worth of fresh, clean rainwater each year. And changing our transportation system provides a huge opportunity to help solve our long-term water issues.

TreePeople is working with multiple agencies, including METRO, to mitigate these problems by adapting their facilities so they capture, clean, conserve and use rainwater.… Read more >>

 

The Tree-Water Connection at One Water Leadership Summit, September 23 – 26

Even though our name is TreePeople, our organization is as focused on the city’s watershed as we are on its individual trees. After all, the forest has always been nature’s water supply and pollution clean-up system. I’ll be shedding light on how that works in Los Angeles—and the many benefits to our environment, community and economy—when I speak at the One Water Leadership Summit in Los Angeles, September 23-26. I’m looking forward to this chance to engage in the national dialogue on water and the urban environment and share some of the lessons from TreePeople’s work in building the new local water supply for our city.… Read more >>

 

Election Day: A Watershed Moment?

On this day when the people of Los Angeles will choose the next mayor, a leader who will be called on to prepare our city for the severe weather that is forecast for our future, including droughts and floods, it is heartening for me to reflect on what we learned from our Dutch colleagues during the Room for the River: Los Angeles  symposium cosponsored by TreePeople May 16–17.

In the Netherlands, they have taken very seriously and responded to the threats posed by climate change to their urban populations, threats that include severe flooding and water shortages.… Read more >>

 

TreePeople Turns 40: Thank You, Los Angeles!

Today marks 40 years since the Los Angeles Times shared a kid’s dream of saving our city and our forests. “Andy vs. the Bureaucratic Deadwood,” by Michael Seiler, touched many thousands of people–especially other kids and grandparents–and moved them to send in their pennies to nurture that dream.  Following the publication of  the article, the kid’s dream grew into a movement that over the years has engaged, educated, and supported millions of Angelinos in taking action to green and repair their neighborhoods, schools, and the forest watershed surrounding the city.… Read more >>

 

Vote for an Empowered Future

From our beginnings, TreePeople has been about a different paradigm. Instead of bemoaning the state of the environment, we inspire, engage, and support people to take personal responsibility to heal the ecosystem. So it’s encouraging  to see that 267 projects have come forward with ideas to fix LA in response to what is perhaps the city’s largest crowd-sourced philanthropic endeavor ever:  the Goldhirsh Foundation’s My LA2050 Challenge

Recognizing that LA has real challenges, and real potential to meet these, My LA2050 will award ten winning projects with $100,000 each.… Read more >>

 

A Living Memorial and a Model for Community Engagement

On January 15, 1990, three thousand people came out to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by planting 400 trees along the entire length of MLK Boulevard in South Los Angeles–seven miles in a single day. At this event, organized by TreePeople, each tree was named in memory of someone, and then adopted by a neighboring resident committed to its ongoing care. The result is the largest living monument to Dr. King in existence.

The idea for this monument came from a TreePeople Citizen Forester named Eudora Russell, who for years had dreamed of turning the barren stretch of King Boulevard into a fitting memorial to its namesake.… Read more >>