When Dolores Reece decided to head an effort to revitalize the greenery in her Los Angeles neighborhood just north of the 10 Freeway, she felt as if it was something she was meant to be doing. A California native, Dolores grew up with a profound appreciation for the beauty of the natural world and our role in preserving it. However, she had been noticing that, either through lack of care or natural causes, trees in her neighborhood were dying. So, in the mid 1980s, when her children went away to college, she decided to rechannel her nurturing energy into replenishing the earth.… Read more >>
With TreePeople’s mission to inspire and engage people in making Los Angeles sustainable and healthy, we can’t ignore the role that our transportation system plays with its massive consumption of energy, and generation of CO2 and air pollution. Our streets, roads and highways are the primary mechanism whereby we pollute and throw away over $400 million worth of fresh, clean rainwater each year. And changing our transportation system provides a huge opportunity to help solve our long-term water issues.
TreePeople is working with multiple agencies, including METRO, to mitigate these problems by adapting their facilities so they capture, clean, conserve and use rainwater.… Read more >>
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 >>
Even though our name is TreePeople, our organization is as focused on the city’s watershed as we are on its individual trees. After all, the forest has always been nature’s water supply and pollution clean-up system. I’ll be shedding light on how that works in Los Angeles—and the many benefits to our environment, community and economy—when I speak at the One Water Leadership Summit in Los Angeles, September 23-26. I’m looking forward to this chance to engage in the national dialogue on water and the urban environment and share some of the lessons from TreePeople’s work in building the new local water supply for our city.… Read more >>
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 >>
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 >>
Fed-up with the physical appearance of your neighborhood? Aching for a change? It’s simple, really; just jumpstart a stalled nonprofit! Meet Rick Rabins—husband, former jeweler, TreePeople Citizen Forester, and acting president of the nonprofit organization The Village Gardeners (his “full-time gig on the side”).
Rick Rabins’ story begins when he realized an oleander scorch disease was wiping out the plants in front of his house on the Los Angeles River. “After having a beautiful hedge like that….” he reflects, “having that deadwood—it’s like a bad dream.” Determined to reverse the process, he knocked on doors of his neighbors until one referred him to Annette Fuller—an original founder of what would become The Village Gardeners.… Read more >>
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 >>
After the President’s speech on climate change this morning, and looking ahead to a hot weekend, we find our thoughts turning to snow. Specifically, Los Angeles’s precious local mountain snowpack. Why is this snowpack important (outside of skiing considerations), you might ask? In a lot of ways, it is a measure of the impact of climate change on our region.
Snowfall is one of the ways LA gets its water. Less snowfall equals less local water. Consequently, more energy has to be used to import water from neighboring regions and other states (where ecosystems are also predicted to become much drier).… Read more >>
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 >>