5 Reasons to Celebrate Biodiversity Day

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The United Nations has named May 22 The International Day for Biological Diversity! But why does biodiversity matter, and what does it mean for you?

At the highest level, biodiversity refers to all the different species on planet Earth. But on a much smaller scale, you could study the biodiversity within a local ecosystem, like the Santa Monica Mountains, the LA River or a neighborhood park.

The Earth is an incredibly complex machine, with all its interrelated organisms and ecosystems playing an important and necessary part.… Read more >>

5 Reasons We Can’t Live Without Soil

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We love to sing the praises of our friends the trees, but we often forget about the critical resource right under our feet: the soil. Trees and other plants need healthy soil to thrive, but the scope of soil benefits go beyond planting.

Soil influences the life spans of our roads and highways. Healthy soil is the foundation for food, animal feed and fuel. Lumber, bricks and textiles all come from soil. Even important discoveries in the field of medicine can be linked to soil. … 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 >>

3 Things You Can Do with TreePeople to Cool LA

TreePeople in the Angeles Forest

If you’re reading this, it’s likely you know that climate change is humanity’s most urgent challenge. And you likely have an inkling that TreePeople has some viable solutions to offer. You’re correct. With the announcement that 2014 was the Earth’s hottest year in recorded history, it’s clearer than ever that we must get planting, and fast.

Because of climate change, by mid-century Los Angeles is predicted to warm by approximately 5 degrees Fahrenheit, according to an in-depth study by UCLA.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 >>

No Need to Plant-Sit These California Natives

Black Sage and Flannelbush, photos by Donnella Anderson

Going on vacation? Trying to find someone to care for your garden while you’re away? Well, this amazing duo of SoCal natives goes on vacay with you, as they need almost no water in the summer. Black sage and Flannel bush will lounge around your garden, perfectly blending with the beautiful and laid-back vibe of the SoCal summer. So take your time off and come back home to a garden that will look as fab as you do!

Black sage (Salvia mellifera)
Evergreen shrub, California native measuring 5’ tall and 5’ wide.… Read more >>

TreePeople’s Ecological Restoration Team to the Rescue

Forty-five-acre Coldwater Canyon Park is home to TreePeople’s hilltop headquarters and the state-of-the-art Center for Community Forestry. Known to locals as a great hiking and dog-walking area, it’s one of the city’s valuable open spaces, and therefore home also to a myriad species of native plants and animals. As in other urban parks, though, its ecosystem is fragile and needs to be maintained.

TreePeople restores the park grounds with the help of a trained volunteer Ecological Restoration Team (ERT) that has evolved out of earlier teams of Americorps volunteers.… Read more >>