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 >>

Get Ready to Collect Some Rain (And Some Money!)

Community Sustainability Workshop

Whatever you’re doing on Saturday, October 5, cancel it, call-in sick, quickly clone yourself, something. Just do whatever you need to do to get to TreePeople’s FREE Community Sustainability Workshop. Why the rush? Well, believe it or not, soon it will rain in Los Angeles, and now is the time to get ready.

Native plant nurseries are gearing up for their fall sales, and fall is the best time to do a bit of landscaping here in Southern California. Too, Metropolitan Water District recently okay’d an incentive plan for rain barrels and rain gardens. That means that all over LA, you can get money back for simply using water that falls from the sky for free.… Read more >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

Greening Asphalt-Covered Schools: It Never Gets Old

VictoriaAveES_TreePlanting_4-27-2013_JAlvarezMTovares_DSCN2476-imp_sm-e1369332333957

When I walked into the school office, armed with my spray paint and tape measure, I was greeted by Jorge Alvarez, one of the Victoria Avenue Elementary School Green Team members. “Are we marking the asphalt today?” You would’ve thought it was Christmas, the way his face lit up when I said yes. “Let me come with you,” he volunteered.

We walked together, marking the corners of the tree wells, measuring, and all the while starting to “see” the trees. “Won’t it be great when the kids come out that door and a tree will be the first thing they see ahead of them on the playground?” asked Jorge.… Read more >>

Fruit Trees Go Public

Photo: Vahagn Karapetyan

You’ll have read about and possibly visited the public park orchard planted at Del Aire Park that opened last fall. It’s a Los Angeles County Arts Commission-sponsored project of the artist group Fallen Fruit, famous locally for their neighborhood maps of fruit-bearing trees accessible in public rights of way and the “fruit jams” they hold in L.A. museums and galleries. Like artist Fritz Haeg’s Edible Estates, the Del Aire Fruit Tree Park acquaints the neighborhood with the notion of growing food in front, where everyone can see it and, better, eat it.… Read more >>

Citizen Forestry: Why Trees Don’t Make Sustainable Communities, People Do

Nieghborday_GOOD

On April 27, several bleak and over-paved blocks of downtown L.A.’s Arts District will be transformed by a community planting of 27 trees. Birds will sing, leaves will flutter, and hearts will lift: all because one person had a dream and got enough people excited about that dream to make it a reality.

That’s how Citizen Forestry works.

Gabrielle Newmark, an Arts District resident, was the winner of last year’s TreePeople-GOOD Maker Green City Challenge. She happens to be one of the 1,146 Citizen Foresters TreePeople has trained over the past 30 years, as is her mother, Sheila Newmark, who transformed a nearly treeless elementary school playground in her day.… Read more >>

TreePeople Turns 40: Thank You, Los Angeles!

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Today marks 40 years since the Los Angeles Times shared a kid’s dream of saving our city and our forests. “Andy vs. the Bureaucratic Deadwood,” by Michael Seiler, touched many thousands of people–especially other kids and grandparents–and moved them to send in their pennies to nurture that dream.  Following the publication of  the article, the kid’s dream grew into a movement that over the years has engaged, educated, and supported millions of Angelinos in taking action to green and repair their neighborhoods, schools, and the forest watershed surrounding the city.… Read more >>