A Field Trip That Can Set Values For A Lifetime

Eco-tour

Here at TreePeople, back-to-school has us celebrating the start of our favorite season—Eco-tour season!

For over thirty years, thousands of Los Angeles area children have experienced a TreePeople Eco-tour as a high point of their school year. For some inner city students, their field trip to TreePeople’s 45-acre natural park and learning campus in the center of Los Angeles is their very first connection with nature.

As students rotate through a series of interactive educational stations, TreePeople educators use creative and engaging activities to help them see, hear, feel and understand the natural cycles of a forest.… Read more >>

The Real Eco Choice for Southwest Landscapes

Is the summer heat leaving you feeling a bit parched? Perhaps your landscaping is thirsty, too? If so, you’re not alone. People all over the southwestern United States are realizing that our traditional green lawn landscapes are more difficult and expensive to keep watered in hot, dry years like this one. So much so that cities are actually paying residents to rip-up their grass and replace it with climate-appropriate plants.

No matter where you stand on the aesthetics of the issue, the fact is that losing the lawn allows cities to reduce water consumption—amazingly, by up to a third—even while the population grows.… Read more >>

An Emerald Canopy Shades the Blacktop

Sheila Newmark

It is difficult to imagine what Hancock Park Elementary School, just two blocks from the busy intersection of Fairfax Avenue and Third Street, would look like without its luscious greenery. Tree canopies scattered throughout the grounds provide refuge from the sizzling blacktop and seem to uplift the vibrant little school from its urban environment. Tall surrounding buildings seem less oppressive as the arboreal shelter provides children with breaths of fresh air.

This is precisely the hopeful vision that TreePeople Citizen Forester  Sheila Newmark strove for when she decided to plant 88 trees at the school site in November of 1998.… Read more >>

They Feel at Home: Two Treepeople Summer Interns

Jessica Haren & Stephanie Nelson

Last week, I told the story of my journey from third grade TreeKid to TreePeople storytelling intern. This week, we’re going back to Yurt Village to hear the story of two more seasoned TreeLadies. Meet Jessica Haren and Stephanie Nelson—summer Landscape Design and Development interns, respectively.

Jessica, a Landscape Architecture student at UCLA Extension, works with TreePeople’s Sustainable Solutions Director Lisa Cahill to design learning gardens that students, parents and teachers can plant to green their schoolyards through TreePeople’s School Greening Initiative.… Read more >>

Abuzz About the Power of Parkways!

Up until recently, many Angelinos didn’t even know what a parkway was. Often called a planting strip, median, nature space or tree lawn—people were confused about what to call it, much less what to do with this section of our cityscape.

Now all that’s changed. One little LA Times column by Steve Lopez, lots of work from Los Angeles City Councilmember Herb Wesson, the dedication of groups like LA Green Grounds, the Urban Ag Working Group, Farmscape, the LA Garden Council, Root Down LA, Los Angeles Community Action Network, Hunger Action Los Angeles, the Wynbrandt Farm, Community Health Councils, St.… Read more >>

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 >>

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 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 >>

“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 >>