Victoria Principal to the (Fire Prevention and Reforestation) Rescue!

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Again, actress, activist and entrepreneur Victoria Principal comes to the rescue of Southern California’s forests. And again, it’s just in time. Although this week is unseasonably cool, the moment it gets hot again we’re in for some serious fire danger. In fact, Los Angeles County’s Fire Chief calls this summer and fall “probably the most volatile fire season that’s projected based on our 100-year history.”

Thankfully, doing our part is now as easy as sending a text message.

No, really. TreePeople has in place new mobile technology—funded by Ms.… Read more >>

Need Trees? Call TreePeople

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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 LA River: From “Bad Dream” to Green

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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 >>

“When I find something that I like…I dive in head first,” Amelia Litz, TreePeople Volunteer

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Three years ago, Amelia Litz was looking for something to do after high school. This South Dakota native knew she wanted to get into something “environmental sciency,” but she didn’t know exactly what. She then found TreePeople through a Google search and has never looked back. “When I moved out here, I decided the best way to explore my options was to volunteer,” Amelia explains. “TreePeople makes it really easy for you to get involved.”

Amelia works primarily in the Santa Monica Mountains.… 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 >>

“I’ve learned some very good leadership skills,” Xavier Cervantes, TreePeople Volunteer

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In many ways, Xavier Cervantes is your typical 14-year-old.  He’s a freshman in high school, he loves to go camping, and if he could spend a day in the life of any famous person, it would be funny-man George Lopez.

But if you ask him for his thoughts on our current environmental crisis, he sounds downright philosophical: “Great things don’t happen overnight, but where we begin to plant seeds, trees will grow.”

His proudest moment with TreePeople was his very first tree planting.… 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 >>

Words of Praise from a Conservation Leader

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At TreePeople we’re all about partnerships. From the U.S. Forest Service to the Mountains Restoration Trust to the Social Justice Learning Institute to city and county government agencies, professionals and organizations give us reasons every day to stand in awe of the individuals and groups willing to work together toward improving the health of our trees and local environment.

When those we admire laud us in return, it always gives us a boost! Meet Rosi Dagit, a well-known biologist and certified arborist with the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains. Rosi’s conservation projects reach from Malibu Lagoon to Antarctica and benefit mountains, oceans, sea life, and people living at the wildland-urban interface.… 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 >>

Keeping Memories of Trees Alive and Growing in L.A.

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Did you grow up in Los Angeles? Can you remember what the streets and parks looked like when you were a small child? Is it hard to imagine what used to stand where a new mall or office building now looms?

For Josh, growth is measured by a pine tree in Van Nuys.

When Josh was in the first grade in the early 1980s, he went on a field trip to TreePeople with his class from the Open Magnet School. The memory was still vivid when he came to talk to us at our booth at an Earth Day event this year.… Read more >>