athomasAdam Thomas

As staff photographer and videographer, Adam brings a decade long passion in telling people's stories to TreePeople. From the joy of a tree planting to the behind the scenes efforts of our policy advocacy and restoration work, Adam captures it through his lens so it can be shared with the world. When he's not behind the camera, he can most likely be found curled up with his cat Kinsella.

All articles by athomas

 

Environmental Learning Takes Root at Vena Ave. Elementary

Take a minute to think about your average school playground here in LA.

Chances are what you’re envisioning more closely resembles a long-forgotten parking lot  – a barren, treeless expanse of cracked blacktop that fades into a mirage as the sun beats down upon it. This is a far cry from a welcoming and hospitable environment for children to learn.

It doesn’t need to be like this.

Study after study has shown the importance of nature and green spaces in the lives of children – from improving memory and cognition, increasing attention span and lowering aggressive behavior, to protecting their developing bodies from harmful pollutants.Read more >>

 

Growing a Greener Future One Acorn at a Time

In 1977, TreePeople set roots at Coldwater Canyon Park, a 45-acre slice of wonder hidden in the Santa Monica mountains. The former fire station is home to miles of hiking trails, magnificent old oak trees, and some of the most scenic vistas in the LA.  For over 40 years, we’ve had a profound connection to not only this hilly outcrop that we call home, but to the entire mountain range that surrounds us and the city. That is why we here at TreePeople are committed to preserving and restoring the wildlands in the Santa Monica Mountains for generations to come.Read more >>

 

Growing a Green Future at Carthay Elementary

A green future is a bright future when it involves our schools.

Last month, TreePeople, along with our partners Boeing and The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation, helped transform the campus of Carthay Center Elementary School. With the aid of students, teachers, and all manner of volunteers from the local community, our team installed an interactive learning garden of over 600 native plants at the front of the campus! Every plant was carefully chosen for its value to local birds and insects, offering the students new ways to learn and connect with the natural world that surrounds us.Read more >>

 

I Am TreePeople: Yujuan Chen

Los Angeles is on the cusp of something big. Every day, more and more Angelenos are waking up to the threats climate change and extreme heat bring to life in the city.

For over 40 years, TreePeople has committed itself to fighting for a greener and healthier Los Angeles. From Watts to the Santa Monica Mountains, TreePeople has planted over 3 million trees in partnership with millions of Angelenos, but planting trees is only the start. Our Policy & Research department tackles the tough issues facing our climate reality– from securing a safe, local water supply, to working to creating an Urban Forestry Master Plan– and makes sure the voices of the people reach not only the halls of power in Downtown LA, but to Sacramento and beyond.  Read more >>

 

I Am TreePeople: Neenah and Tiffany Paige

In 1981, TreePeople set a lofty goal to plant 1 million trees in Los Angeles by the start of the 1984 Olympics. This would be a towering feat for any organization, but TreePeople gathered all of its muscle to get it done.

Many trees were distributed through local schools and field trips to TreePeople’s Coldwater Canyon Park. Our staff and volunteers gave out tens of thousands of Canary Island pines at school presentations in the early 80’s. Here, students and families took a pledge to care for the tiny saplings and give them a new home in yards and gardens throughout Los Angeles.Read more >>

 

I Am TreePeople: Josephine Yadegar

The Highland Park neighborhood in northeast Los Angeles is going through some big changes. Once a working-class community of second and third generation immigrant families, Highland Park is now on the front lines of the gentrification battle in Los Angeles. Small family-run businesses are now trendy bars and nightclubs, neighborhood restaurants now foodie pop-ups.

Tucked away off the main hustle and bustle of Figueroa Street and York Boulevard, is San Pasqual Avenue Elementary school. Here, a collection of wonderful teachers is working hard to provide the best for the children of both long-time residents and newcomers.Read more >>

 

Fires, Drought & Climate Change Terrorize Southland

Winds roar. A single spark soars in the night sky. It grows. Soon a field illuminates, a hillside, a forest. The last rains were months ago and the next chance of a storm is unknown. Flames rage toward homes. Thousands flee into the darkness, headlights searching for a way out of the suffocating smoke.

This is our new reality. It’s no secret that this scary scene has played out with greater and greater frequency over the last few years. We now stand at the crossroads of a chronic state of climate emergency aimed right at California.Read more >>

 

Mulching Trees, Feeding Minds

In the shadow of the hustle and bustle of the old Hollywood Park Casino ground’s transformation into the Los Angeles Rams’ new stadium sits Environmental Charter Middle School – Inglewood.

The school, located at the site of a former church, recently finished stage one of a three-stage retrofit to bring new learning opportunities to its students. The new two-story building made of recycled shipping containers offers 10 new classrooms and a replica creek bed lined with native trees and flowers stretching across the front of the property.Read more >>

 

A Future Without Palm Trees in LA

Over a century ago, hundreds of Canary Island Date Palms found a new home across the sea in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. The swaying palms brought an easy calm and tropical appeal to the area, which was home to many-a-player in Los Angeles’ burgeoning film industry, including legendary director Mack Sennett’s first production studio which launched the careers of Charlie Chaplin and Fatty Arbuckle. But just like old acetone reels from film’s silent era, these once majestic palms have begun to fade.Read more >>

 

A New Planting Season Takes Root on National Public Lands Day

Every year in late September, hundreds of thousands of people head outside for National Public Lands Day. The observance first started in 1994 to raise awareness and protect the spaces maintained by federal, state and local governments for public use– over 30% of the US landmass. The event has grown into the single largest volunteer event dedicated to preserving and restoring our public lands. Not only is it a chance for people to give back, it is also a wonderful chance to explore, as many state and federal agencies relax fees for the day.Read more >>

 

Meet TreePeople’s Huntington Park Dream Team

Just three 3 miles from the trendy shops and construction cranes of Downtown LA’s Arts District, there’s a different kind of change at work in the community of Huntington Park. Where not that long ago only sun-baked sidewalks sprawled through the city, now there are blocks and blocks of tree-lined streets and a small army of school-aged volunteers mobilized to care of them.

On any given weekend, TreePeople’s Regional Manager, Cristina Basurto partners with local youth to plant, water and care for trees they plant to provide a greener future, cleaner air and a healthier community for residents.Read more >>

 

Collecting Seeds, Collecting Hope

Every year as Southern California heats up, the threat of wildfires becomes ever more present. All it takes is a wayward ember for generations of green to be transformed into a charred moonscape overnight – trees to lonely carbon ghosts, and rolling hills to dusty ash. Even though these post-blaze landscapes may appear dead and barren, chaparral – the brush and shrubs that carpet our canyons – offers hope. These hardy plants, like black sage and California lilac, are the first to return after tragedy, slowly breathing life back.Read more >>