Don’t Let LA’s Trees Become Casualties of the Drought

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An Urgent Arbor Day Message from TreePeople Founder and President, Andy Lipkis

As I drive through LA this beautiful spring my heart is breaking. In every street, in every block, I see trees in decline.

This is a quiet crisis, and it’s accelerating.

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Andy Lipkis spoke at the City’s Save the Drop campaign launch in April.

Earlier this month I sat in a presentation by the Urban Forester of Santa Monica. He said that after four years of drought, our trees’ ability to take up water has atrophied, especially in trees not native to our region.… Read more >>

Skip the Artificial Turf: The Value of Native Plants and the Truth About Fake Grass

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For decades Angelenos have maintained an image of the perfect suburban yard. We imagine homes with neatly trimmed hedges, colorful flower beds beneath the windows and a lush, green, well-manicured lawn rolling right up to the front door.

The perpetuation of this image has skewed our sense of natural beauty. Not only is that ideal simply not sustainable in our climate, but in order to achieve it people sometimes turn to what they think is a good alternative: artificial turf. In other words, fake grass.… Read more >>

TreePeople Needs YOUR Vote for a More Livable Future!

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Recently, LA2050 asked a provocative question: how would YOU use $100,000 to make Los Angeles the healthiest place to live?

It’s a great question, and we have our answer: TreeMapLA. By continuing to build TreeMapLA as a simple, powerful, and user-friendly tool, we will enable residents of Los Angeles County to use the map to become more aware of LA’s urban ecosystem. TreeMapLA will help Angelenos plant and care for the millions of trees and rainwater catchment systems we need to make the city healthier and more sustainable.… Read more >>

Water For Us All!

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“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 LA Times in 2008, shortly before her death. In it, she outlines an incredibly thoughtful set of recommendations that would create a sustainable water supply.

So it’s disheartening to see people acting in such a way that suggests we aren’t currently in the midst of the driest year in recorded history.… Read more >>

Getting Drought Smart: The Drought Solutions Tour as Inspiration

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Native plant species, rain chains, drip irrigation – and what on Earth is decomposed granite? In my quest for more information on the drought Los Angeles is facing and what I can do at home to cut water usage, I looked to TreePeople’s Drought Solutions Tour and Native Plant Walk, which is one of many resources available in Los Angeles for learning how to create a sustainable city.

This past Saturday I rose bright and early, grabbed a smoothie and headed to TreePeople’s Coldwater Canyon Park.… Read more >>

How to Kill Your Lawn

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Now that we’re in the depths of the drought, LADWP is offering $3 per square foot for turf replacement. Since some 50% of our water goes to landscaping, ripping out your lawn is one of the best ways you can conserve water.

How do you go about killing your lawn? Well, the easiest and best way to reduce your turf is sheet mulching. With sheet mulching, your yard can go from a water-thirsty, outdated green shag carpet to a sustainable garden with about as much effort as it takes to mow the lawn.… Read more >>

1000th Tree Cared for in the Drought

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We’re in the middle of a drought, so to conserve water, we shouldn’t water trees, right?

Actually, watering trees is one of the best things we can do while we wait for the rains to return. Keeping our trees healthy helps us maintain and build our water supply here in Los Angeles. When it rains – which happens sometimes even in the middle of a drought – a mature tree captures thousands of gallons of rainwater in its canopy and root zone, sinking that rain into the aquifer and storing it for later instead of letting it run down our paved streets and sidewalks into the ocean, where it’s no longer available as freshwater for our use.… Read more >>