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 >>

“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 >>

“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 >>

Not Your Momma’s Fire Season

Santa Monica Mountain Restoration

Fire season is a part of LA, right?  Like earthquakes and off-the-rails movie stars, if we’ve survived them once we can do it again, right?  Wrong.

The problem is that with the climate changing, things are getting more intense.  This is not your momma’s fire season.

Southern California is in its seventh driest year on record.  This year’s January-through-March time period was the driest for LA, EVER.  Those three months of rain are crucial for us.  With almost no rainfall at the beginning of the year, the moisture content of plants in our local hills and mountains is already very low.… Read more >>

You Can Prevent Forest Fires & Have Fun Doing It

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When we see fires raging, as we have too many times this year already, it’s natural to feel helpless. We’re always extremely vulnerable to fires in Southern California. Within the areas surrounding the Santa Monica Mountains—from the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles to Point Mugu in Ventura County—more than half a million people are directly affected by fire danger. And this year’s fire forecast is severe.

But you don’t have to feel helpless. You can do something to curb fire danger, and get some fresh air and great exercise in some of the most beautiful parts of our local mountains.… Read more >>

Not your typical field trip: 500 students win a chance to replant the Angeles National Forest

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Students from 10 Los Angeles area middle and high schools learned this week that they were winners of sponsored field trips to the Angeles National Forest to help restore fire-damaged areas of one of Los Angeles County’s largest preserved open space.

The Facebook-based contest TreeByTree was a collaboration between TreePeople and Edison International. On a weekly basis, students from 17 schools posted photos of sustainability-minded projects they spearheaded, from recycling programs to tree plantings to converting a vintage VW Bug to electric.… Read more >>

Five Chances to Roll Up Your Sleeves for Trees, December 8

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December 8 is a great day to volunteer! TreePeople invites you to pick your favorite among five rewarding opportunities to pitch in and make Los Angeles a greener city.

If you feel ready for advanced tree care, join us at a school campus in Westchester to prune semi-mature trees. Coming from points north and east? Head to a LAUSD school in Pacoima, where we’ll be weeding, watering, and mulching nearly 40 young trees planted over the last two years. “We want their growth spurt to rival the 5th graders’!” says TreePeople’s Pam Gibson.… Read more >>