All articles by alipkis
An Open Letter to Angelenos in a Time of Drought
You can’t care about trees without caring about water. The two are intimately connected.
That’s why TreePeople has been committed to take rainwater harvesting to scale for over 20 years. Rainwater can and should be a significant part of our water supply.
Each month, hundreds of people attend our workshops and install rain tanks at home. It hasn’t always been so easy. In the past, when drought wasn’t on people’s minds, the dominant mindset was that Los Angeles is a desert–assuming we didn’t get more than a few drops of water a year.… Read more >>
Is Your Community Prepared for El Nino?
A few years back, a colleague received a frantic call from his wife in California while we were overseas. A brush fire was bearing down on their house. Worse yet, she wasn’t home and their pets were trapped. Fortunately, the house was spared and the pets were safe. However, in that moment, their lack of preparation had them in a last minute frenzy.
There’s no way to anticipate the impact a natural disasters will have, but we should all take the proper precautions in advance.… Read more >>
Don’t Let LA’s Trees Become Casualties of the Drought
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.
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 >>
Forbes: Why Does California Let Billions Of Gallons Of Fresh Water Flow Straight Into The Ocean?
LA has the capability to truly be livable, resilient and water-secure if we work together, and TreePeople is proud to partner with the people to make this vision a reality. We can adapt in the face of our changing climate, but we must support enabling policies while also being change makers in our own homes. Read on to see how in my interview with Ashoka for Forbes below:
A Q&A with Ashoka Fellow and urban water expert Andy Lipkis
If you’ve been paying attention, you know that California is in the midst of a severe multi-year drought.… Read more >>
Yes, We Can Save Water (and Save Trees)
Yesterday California Governor Jerry Brown issued the first mandatory water restrictions in response to our state’s historic drought. As this drought deepens and worsens and fears rise, it’s important to know that another country faced a very similar threat: Australia endured a devastating 12-year drought from 1997 – 2010. Because they have similar climate, and very similar people and economy, their story, their powerful successes, and some of their painful mistakes and lessons can serve as a guide to us in Los Angeles and California…to ensure we succeed and thrive. … Read more >>
Make No Mistake: Concrete is the Enemy
Statement from Andy Lipkis, Founder and President of TreePeople, calls on Angelenos to rip out concrete and plant trees to capture what rainfall LA gets.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.– TreePeople heard fighting words when news reports showed an anti-tree group calling themselves “Save Our Concrete” holding a protest at a downtown Los Angeles parking lot earlier today.
The truth is that concrete is the enemy of Los Angeles. It is the enemy because, among other reasons, as LA suffers through historic drought, concrete takes away our water.… Read more >>
Happy World Water Day, LA – There’s Hope Yet
Water scarcity is certainly a worldwide issue, but we in LA know the seriousness of it. Did you know that California has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs?
The good news is that our city is getting serious about creating a local, reliable water supply – and TreePeople is helping to bring to it the best global models.
TreePeople has been intensely involved in solving LA’s local water problems since the 1990s.… Read more >>
Happy Earth Month: Tip #3 Plant a Native Garden
Happy Earth Week!
We celebrated Earth Day yesterday, and everywhere you look spring is in full bloom, which can only mean one thing: it’s Mother Nature’s time to shine!
To honor her and our planet, our founder Andy Lipkis is sharing some of his best simple sustainable solutions — from his home to yours — right here on our blog throughout April. Andy’s first tip was how and why to maintain your yard and garden with rain barrels; his second was filled with easy ways to make your sprinklers more efficient and, in the process, save time, energy, and money.… Read more >>
Happy Earth Month: Tip #2 Replace Your Sprinklers
Earlier this month we told you that in honor of Earth Day (April 22nd), we’d be sharing our founder Andy Lipkis’ simple sustainable suggestions — from his home to yours — right here on our blog throughout April. Last week we brought you Andy’s first tip: how and why to maintain your yard and garden with rain barrels.
Now it’s a fresh, new week and time for Andy’s second tip: Replace your sprinklers.
Why? Because chances are your sprinkler system isn’t running as efficiently as it could.… Read more >>
Happy Earth Month: Tip #1 Stock Up On Rain
You’re probably well aware that April 22nd is Earth Day, but did you know that the entire month of April pays tribute to our planet?
Around here, we’re making it easier than ever to honor Mother Nature and grow a greener city. Starting right here, right now, each week we’ll offer a new simple sustainable suggestion from our founder Andy Lipkis, from his home to yours.
First up, Andy maintains his yard and vegetable garden with rain barrels. Why? Because in Los Angeles, only 10-15% of our water comes from groundwater.… Read more >>
Drought Response Webinar with Andy Lipkis
On February 22, TreePeople’s Founder and President Andy Lipkis recorded a webinar on California’s current drought. TreePeople is on the front lines working with government agencies and utilities to produce a coordinated response to rapidly, smartly, and effectively solve the region’s short and long term water crises. We want you to get the inside story on how our city can not only survive but thrive during this drought.
Please click here to watch the recording of Andy’s lecture as he offers key insights into the present situation as well as what each of us can do to improve the forecast in coming months, years, and decades for all Californians.… Read more >>
Trees save our very lives. Literally.
This fact inspired me to write an article for The Jewish Journal in honor of Tu b’Shevat, the Jewish New Year or Birthday of the Trees.
For decades, students at Jewish schools and schools throughout Los Angeles County have planted seedlings with TreePeople to celebrate this holiday. But these days, tree planting has become much more than a symbolic act. Can planting the right trees in the right places, and ensuring they survive, really save lives? Yes.
Happiest of birthdays to you, trees!… Read more >>
Not Enough Water, L.A.? Look Up.
I am excited to announce that today’s edition of the Los Angeles Times carries a timely Op-Ed that I wrote titled, “Not enough water, L.A.? Look up.”
Did Mulholland Get it Wrong?
Nearly one hundred years ago today, William Mulholland stood before a crowd of 40,000 near San Fernando and unfurled an American flag, signaling the official opening of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. As water from the Owens Valley rushed through the spillway for the first time, Mulholland exulted to the assembled onlookers, “There it is.… Read more >>
Forbes Features TreePeople’s Water Work
Our “sound bite” name of TreePeople is misleading. What we do goes way beyond trees. A recent article in Forbes describes the deeper side of our work, which is about building Los Angeles’ next water supply.
Trees are inextricably linked to water—capturing, cleansing and storing rainwater and protecting us from drought and floods. As such, they are an essential part of our city’s infrastructure. Not the built, costly, man-made “gray” infrastructure, but infrastructure that is green and living.
Plug-In to the Los Angeles Business Council Summit
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 >>
The Tree-Water Connection at One Water Leadership Summit, September 23 – 26
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 >>
Election Day: A Watershed Moment?
On this day when the people of Los Angeles will choose the next mayor, a leader who will be called on to prepare our city for the severe weather that is forecast for our future, including droughts and floods, it is heartening for me to reflect on what we learned from our Dutch colleagues during the Room for the River: Los Angeles symposium cosponsored by TreePeople May 16–17.
In the Netherlands, they have taken very seriously and responded to the threats posed by climate change to their urban populations, threats that include severe flooding and water shortages.… Read more >>
TreePeople Turns 40: Thank You, Los Angeles!
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 >>
Vote for an Empowered Future
From our beginnings, TreePeople has been about a different paradigm. Instead of bemoaning the state of the environment, we inspire, engage, and support people to take personal responsibility to heal the ecosystem. So it’s encouraging to see that 267 projects have come forward with ideas to fix LA in response to what is perhaps the city’s largest crowd-sourced philanthropic endeavor ever: the Goldhirsh Foundation’s My LA2050 Challenge
Recognizing that LA has real challenges, and real potential to meet these, My LA2050 will award ten winning projects with $100,000 each.… Read more >>
A Living Memorial and a Model for Community Engagement
On January 15, 1990, three thousand people came out to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by planting 400 trees along the entire length of MLK Boulevard in South Los Angeles–seven miles in a single day. At this event, organized by TreePeople, each tree was named in memory of someone, and then adopted by a neighboring resident committed to its ongoing care. The result is the largest living monument to Dr. King in existence.
The idea for this monument came from a TreePeople Citizen Forester named Eudora Russell, who for years had dreamed of turning the barren stretch of King Boulevard into a fitting memorial to its namesake.… Read more >>