California Drought: Survive and Thrive with TreePeople Solutions

OakCanopy1379

Part of our mission here at TreePeople is to be a source of practical information and solutions that can help keep every Angeleno safe and healthy, especially in times of extreme weather and natural forces such as the current drought emergency. Even in the face of projected hotter and more erratic weather patterns, we can still move the city towards a viable future – together.

The answer lies in taking care of our most vital resource for environmental well-being in urban areas: trees. Yes, many trees will need supplemental water to get them through the drought, but trees are still key to a sufficient local water supply in Los Angeles.… Read more >>

Trees save our very lives. Literally.

Tu b’Shevat

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 >>

Enough For Us All! (But We Have To Do Our Part)

Drought

“We have enough water to live on, but not enough to waste.” — Dorothy Green, founding president of Heal the Bay.

Dorothy Green wrote these words in an article that was published in the Los Angeles Times in 2008, shortly before her death. She went on to outline a thoughtful set of recommendations to create a sustainable water supply for Southern California.

So it is disheartening to see a Times article appear six years later that practically suggests that, despite this being the driest year in recorded history, everything’s fine.… Read more >>

Start the New Year by Chipping Your Tree

Pine Tree

With the New Year comes lots of good intentions. Why not start with how you dispose of your holiday tree? If you’ve been thinking about trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle, you can look no further than your living room and that post-Christmas—or whatever holiday you celebrated—tree.

Rather than haul it out for the garbage collector, the best thing to do with your holiday tree is to mulch it. Chipping up your tree is a great way to create healthy, organic matter that is ideal to put on top of the soil—similar to what happens to dead trees in a natural forest.… Read more >>

US-Australian Dialogue on Water Visits Los Angeles on January 13

water_event_Invitation

You are invited to an international event! Be a part of the US-Australian Dialogue on Water, which has major implications for Los Angeles’ water future.

For over 20 years, TreePeople has been promoting the value of trees and nature-based urban planning as the best means of securing a sustainable, affordable and secure water supply for Los Angeles. Last week, The Huffington Post listed Los Angeles as one of the most water-vulnerable American cities in an article titled “These 11 Cities May Completely Run Out of Water Sooner Than You Think.”

Yes, the situation is serious.… Read more >>

Why 57 Million Monarchs Matter

Monarch Butterfly

In case you missed it in The New York Times, “This year, for the first time in memory, the monarch butterflies didn’t come, at least not on the Day of the Dead. They began to straggle in a week later than usual, in record-low numbers. Last year’s low of 60 million now seems great compared with the fewer than three million that have shown up so far this year. Some experts fear that the spectacular migration could be near collapse.”

WOW!… Read more >>

Kids Choose Toys Over Trees?

Eco-Tour

There’s been quite a bit of outrage over the Toys‘R’Us “Meet the Trees” ad campaign. If you haven’t seen it, I’ll give you a brief synopsis: kids think they’re going on a boring tree-related field trip, but instead get to go to Toys‘R’Us to pick out a free toy. Cue great wonderment and enthusiasm from the kids; girls get dolls, boys get toy guns.

Of course, as a member of an organization that believes that trees also can get kids excited, initially I was appalled.… Read more >>

Taking on the Tyranny of Turf

Tyranny of Turf

It’s lining up to be another dry winter, with water reserves at worryingly low levels. So what’s with L.A.’s obsession with expansive green lawns? How did this landscape ideal, imported from rainy Northern Europe, come to mean the good life in water-scarce Los Angeles? Can we keep it up, or is there a better way? Is the better way possibly even more beautiful?

On Sunday, November 17 at 3pm, TreePeople will partner with the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West to answer some of these questions.… 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 >>

Learning from Australia’s Drought: TreePeople Draws Lessons From Down Under

Rainwater Plumbed Indoors - Melbourne Water

In 2012, TreePeople began an exchange between government, research and community organizations in Australia and Southern California. The aim of the program: to share innovations, best practices and experience in urban rainwater capture, water conservation practices and drought response—topics that are increasingly relevant as the climate of the American Southwest (and beyond) changes for the drier.

Why Australia?

Australia experienced several devastatingly dry episodes in the last 100 years. The most recent—called the “Millennium Drought”—started in 1997 and continued through 2010, and brought the country’s longest period of rainfall shortage on record.… Read more >>