A TreePeople Intern’s Deep Roots

Emma Schiffer - Young and Old

As a nearly lifelong Treeperson, I have responses for all the usual questions about my Treepeople volunteering. To the question, “So, you hug trees, right?” I answer, “Of course! But not as part of my work.” To the question, “So, you guys are people made of trees?” I respond, “You know ‘connecting with your roots’ is just an expression, right?”

I’ve had plenty of time to perfect these responses; I’ve been involved with Treepeople since I was nine. The road to my position this summer as a storytelling and photography management intern in Treepeople’s Yurt Village (“What’s a yurt?” I’m asked, “Is it an animal?”) started with a few bags of popcorn and a class full of chipper third graders.… Read more >>

Victoria Principal to the (Fire Prevention and Reforestation) Rescue!

principalBlog

Again, actress, activist and entrepreneur Victoria Principal comes to the rescue of Southern California’s forests. And again, it’s just in time. Although this week is unseasonably cool, the moment it gets hot again we’re in for some serious fire danger. In fact, Los Angeles County’s Fire Chief calls this summer and fall “probably the most volatile fire season that’s projected based on our 100-year history.”

Thankfully, doing our part is now as easy as sending a text message.

No, really. TreePeople has in place new mobile technology—funded by Ms.… Read more >>

Ten Ways to Add Green to Your Routine

Home Recycling

Here at TreePeople, we believe that everyone is a bit of a tree person at heart. We understand that not everyone has time to regularly plant or care for trees, let alone dedicate a career to the environment! However, a busy schedule doesn’t doom a tree person to an environmentally-oblivious life. We’ve provided ten ways that you can fit the environment into your daily life—no extra time needed!

1. Don’t store food in plastic bags.
Instead, use containers (we prefer glass, stainless steel, or BPA-free plastic).… Read more >>

Need Trees? Call TreePeople

Sylvan Elementary School

Better yet, handwrite us a letter. TreePeople received a package of just this type of letter from students at Sylvan Elementary School in Van Nuys. The youngsters missed the shade of three trees recently removed from their campus, and they took action.

Not just heart-warming, their handwritten letters were effective. They grabbed our attention, and with the combined leadership of TreePeople and a strategically-assembled Green Team of Sylvan’s students, parents, teachers and principal—they succeeded in getting exactly what they knew they needed and deserved, and more.… Read more >>

The LA River: From “Bad Dream” to Green

RickRabbins_Blog

Fed-up with the physical appearance of your neighborhood? Aching for a change? It’s simple, really; just jumpstart a stalled nonprofit! Meet Rick Rabins—husband, former jeweler, TreePeople Citizen Forester, and acting president of the nonprofit organization The Village Gardeners (his “full-time gig on the side”).

Rick Rabins’ story begins when he realized an oleander scorch disease was wiping out the plants in front of his house on the Los Angeles River. “After having a beautiful hedge like that….” he reflects, “having that deadwood—it’s like a bad dream.” Determined to reverse the process, he knocked on doors of his neighbors until one referred him to Annette Fuller—an original founder of what would become The Village Gardeners.… Read more >>

The Real Truth About Fake Grass

grass

True or false? Artificial turf or “fake grass” is a great alternative to traditional lawns for water-scarce Los Angeles.

It needs no water, requires basically no maintenance, and is often billed as an eco-friendly choice because it is made from things like recycled tires. Seems like a no-brainer, but fake grass is not a good choice if your goal is a sustainable landscape. Here’s why.

Like many fake things, its beauty is only skin deep. The goal of an eco-friendly choice is a thriving eco-system.… Read more >>

“When I find something that I like…I dive in head first,” Amelia Litz, TreePeople Volunteer

Amelia Litz - Outreach Volunteer of the Year 2012

Three years ago, Amelia Litz was looking for something to do after high school. This South Dakota native knew she wanted to get into something “environmental sciency,” but she didn’t know exactly what. She then found TreePeople through a Google search and has never looked back. “When I moved out here, I decided the best way to explore my options was to volunteer,” Amelia explains. “TreePeople makes it really easy for you to get involved.”

Amelia works primarily in the Santa Monica Mountains.… Read more >>

Trade One Kind of Green for Another: Even More Cash for Your (Landscape) Grass

Marvin Steindler Photography

Want to get away?  Think that Hawaiian vacay is out of your price range?  Well, if you still have a lush green lawn on your property, maybe not. The price for grass has doubled!  Quick, cash in now and make up to $4,000 (depending on the size of your lawn).

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s turf removal rebate, or “cash for grass” program is back and better than ever. The price per square foot has increased from $1 to $2.… Read more >>

“I don’t get anything out of it except saving the world,” Mary Miasnik, TreePeople Volunteer

Mary Miasnik

As a lifelong Angeleno, Mary remembers a time when she could ride her bike anywhere she wanted and nobody had to worry about where their children were. A time when nothing interesting happened except for an earthquake in 1933. “It was very peaceful, very ordinary,” she recalls of her upbringing.

Then, in the late 70s, some terrible weather brought the threat of mudslides to her neighborhood. The residents could see a hill begin to ominously slump over. “We knew there was a problem when we saw the mud in the gutter water,” she remembers.… Read more >>

“I’ve learned some very good leadership skills,” Xavier Cervantes, TreePeople Volunteer

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In many ways, Xavier Cervantes is your typical 14-year-old.  He’s a freshman in high school, he loves to go camping, and if he could spend a day in the life of any famous person, it would be funny-man George Lopez.

But if you ask him for his thoughts on our current environmental crisis, he sounds downright philosophical: “Great things don’t happen overnight, but where we begin to plant seeds, trees will grow.”

His proudest moment with TreePeople was his very first tree planting.… Read more >>