dlukasiewiczDevon Lukasiewicz

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A COVID-19-Safe Eco Book Club Starter Kit!

In the wake of COVID-19, we are all sitting at home wondering how in the world we are going to keep busy while being responsible and socially isolating ourselves. 

Well, do we have a solution for you!  

Our staff loves reading about trees and the environment (obviously). Most of you out there can admire the natural world by simply looking out the window, so we want to help you with all of the tools you need to make you look at that green space with a newfound sense of awe. … Read more >>

 

Trees Need People… But Do People Need Trees?

We know that trees are good for the earth – their roots support soil and prevent erosion, their canopies provide homes for countless bugs and animals, and they uphold entire ecosystems across the planet. 

What we also know, and are telling the world about, is that they are also good for people. Our relationship with trees runs to the origins of our species, and our health and theirs are bound together. We work so hard to support trees because they work so hard to support people. … Read more >>

 

Students Tell Us About Their Favorite Trees!

We reached out to the TreePeople community in search of stories that remind us what it means to feel connected with the trees around us. We were not disappointed with the amazing responses we received!

Those included a group of 4th to 8th graders at Manzanita School in Topanga. We loved these stories so much that we decided to share them with the world!

Paloma, 5th Grade:

Chirping birds, crunchy oak leaves and small plastic swing, swinging, fill my ears and head with amazing thoughts and sounds.… Read more >>

 

Volunteer of the Month: Gigi Casey’s Passion for Diverse Green Space in South-Central Shines

TreePeople is only as successful as our volunteers allow us to be – their hands are tied to the roots of our movement and without their hard work and dedication, our efforts would come to a halt. We want to take the time and space to acknowledge the incredible people who remind us that trees need people and people need trees, so we’ve decided to highlight one of our standout volunteers every month here on our blog!

Our very first Volunteer of the Month is Gigi Casey: an advocate, grandmother, and dedicated member of the South-Central L.A.… Read more >>

 

Tree Planting Doesn’t End At The Sapling

At the end of January, we read this story about a planting initiative in Turkey that didn’t go quite as planned. Only a few months after a record-breaking planting of 11 million trees, up to 90% of those saplings may have already died.  

While we love to hear about planting initiatives around the world, we’ve noticed a recurring issue that we want to bring some attention to: tree care. It’s easy to assume that once a seed is in the ground it’ll become a tree — that’s how it works in nature: trees shed seeds and seeds become new trees, right?… Read more >>

 

Former Resident’s Legacy Lives on in the City of Bell

Our urban forestry work has a special way of bringing people together by shining a light on what trees can mean to us and to those we love. 

We’re called TreePeople because we know that trees and people need each other, and it’s a beautiful sight to see when that relationship manifests in expanded tree canopy and Angelenos connecting with loved ones across our county. 

This month, we were honored to be a part of remembering the former City of Bell resident Chuck Standing.… Read more >>

 

Who’s in our Park!?

With its expansive city views, it’s easy to forget that Coldwater Canyon Park is really a home to all sorts of wild animals. In our care for this incredible piece of land, we’re passionate about making sure that this place that we’re comfortable calling home is comfortable for them to call home too! 

We’ve made sure to sneak some cameras across our 45 acres to keep an eye on our furry neighbors: 

Bobcats in the park.

These carnivorous bobcats are stealthy hunters, but don’t worry – they only grow to be about 2 feet long and aren’t a threat to humans! … Read more >>

 

Forestry 2020: What’s in Store?

2019 was an amazing year for our forestry team: not only did they plant thousands of trees across L.A.’s mountain forests, but they also expanded urban tree canopy across concrete-dense neighborhoods and in schools across the county. 

This year, our forestry team is looking forward to expanding tree canopy even more. Here’s what we can look forward to in 2020:

Thousands of plants in our mountain forests, from native chaparral to coast live oaks.

San Francisquito Canyon Planting, March 16, 2019-3

Thousands of trees planted across our city’s urban forest.… Read more >>

 

Which Natives Should You Plant in Your Garden?

It’s planting season! Is your green thumb itching? If your landscaping could use a drought-smart update, now’s a great time to put new roots in the ground. Here’s our list of native plants that will transform your yard into a climate-appropriate wonderland! 

Saint Catherine‘s Lace

Eriogonum giganteum

The big pinkish-white, flat-topped flowers of this native California buckwheat appear in late spring and through summer before fading to red-brown. Saint Catherine’s lace grows in clay and other soils near the coast or inland.… Read more >>

 

Fire Safety Tips for the Holidays

Over 350,000 house fires happen every year and December and January are the peak months for these awful occurrences. A big contributor to the statistics is the holidays: during these months, we’re using fire and products that can cause fires more than any other time of year. 

We want to make sure you stay safe and fire-free this holiday season, so we’ve put together a list of tips to keep your home and your family safe. 

Before we get into it, the first piece of advice is to test your smoke alarms, have an evacuation route established with your family, and keep an emergency bag handy.… Read more >>

 

A Sustainable Gift Guide for the Holiday Season

In the age of planned obsolescence and fast fashion, we like to take the holidays as an opportunity to spread fun gifts that support people as well as the earth that supports us all!

Take a look at our sustainable gift-giving guide for all types of people in your life: The Tree Person, The Gardener, The Eco-Adventurer, and The Kiddos.

Use this guide as a starting point, there’s a world of sustainable gift-giving options out there to make your holiday fun and eco-friendly!… Read more >>

 

Ashaninka Community Leader Benki Pyãnko Joins us for a Planting!

On Saturday, November 2, we were honored to be joined at our Huntington Park planting by Benki Pyãnko, an Ashaninka spiritual and community leader from Brazil.

TreePeople - Huntington Park tree planting with Benki Piyako

The Ashaninka community are an indigenous people residing in the rainforests of Peru and the State of Acre, Brazil. The community has been known historically by its neighbors as a fierce protector of their land and culture – an attitude that exists today in the wake of man-made fires throughout the Amazon Rainforest and an encroachment on indigenous culture.… Read more >>

 

When Abundance Leads to Waste: How to Have a Sustainable Thanksgiving

Sitting at the dinner table with friends, family, and lots of food on Thanksgiving serves as a reminder to be grateful for what we have. The holiday lets us reflect on all of the things that bring us joy, happiness, success, love, balance, and fun! 

The only thing that isn’t fun about Thanksgiving is that it can be wasteful. That does nothing to support our environment. So we’ve come up with a few tips to support a sustainable holiday this year!… Read more >>

 

After the Fires, We Will Rebuild

TreePeople has launched the Emergency Fire Recovery Fund: a fundraising initiative that will be used to restore the landscapes of the surrounding mountains affected by wildfires that have ravaged Southern California. In the wake of the Saddleridge, Palisades, Tick, Getty, Easy, and Maria fires, our work as protectors and restorers of these delicate ecosystems is more important than ever. 

Our generous board has dedicated $100,000 to MATCH any donations in order to protect these lands vulnerable to fires. 

In 2018, California experienced its deadliest fire season in history, and this year we’ve experienced constant reminders of just how vulnerable our forests are to climate change.… Read more >>

 

Have a Happy and Sustainable Halloween!

Halloween is one of the best holidays of the year (and certainly the sweetest). The weather finally starts to cool, spooky movies are on replay all over TV, we get to gorge on sugary treats, and we can catch an adrenaline rush on some pretty freaky stuff. 

One of the scariest parts of Halloween to us TreePeople is the wasteful side of the holiday. 

Costumes that go from the rack to the streets to the trash, landfills full of pumpkins, and streets covered in candy wrappers freak us out more than any haunted house ever will.… Read more >>

 

Calles Verdes: What Are We Up To Now?

San Fernando - Calles Verdes - Tree Care

Earlier this year, we kicked off a new chapter of our street greening initiative, Calles Verdes, in the City of San Fernando. As the name suggests, the purpose is to bring green spaces to parts of the county with little tree canopy in order to improve the health of the citizens who reside there. 

TreePeople Calles Verdes San Fernando Kickoff

Trees, especially in these hot urban areas, reduce the risks of heatstroke, pollution, energy waste from air conditioning, soil erosion, and more. They bring people together, cool the city down, provide food and shade, and create cleaner air for us all.… Read more >>

 

Say Hello to Some of our Furry Friends in Coldwater Canyon Park!

TreePeople is responsible for the care and maintenance of Coldwater Canyon Park in beautiful Beverly Hills. This 45-acre expanse of land is a hiking hub, a fantastic city view lookout point, and a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.

The park doesn’t belong to us alone, absolutely not. It also belongs to the hikers who join us, to the students who come to visit, and to the wildlife that calls the park home. We have cameras set throughout the park so we can keep an eye on these furry friends, who we’d like to introduce you to today!… Read more >>

 

A Look at Environmental Education at TreePeople

TreePeople is known across Southern California for planting trees, but that’s not all we do. 

One of our most important jobs is deepening knowledge of the environment and our relationship to it with as many people as possible. This is why we have an environmental education team (aka the “EE Team”) in our Yurt Village. Their main goal is to support and empower youth to advocate for themselves and their communities around environmental issues by equipping them with knowledge, skills, and understanding of the environment and partnering alongside them to take action through hands-on meaningful projects!… Read more >>

 

Urban Heat in L.A.

Another scorching L.A. Summer has come and gone, full of triple-digit heat waves and a city full of overheated Angelenos. 

This is something we’ve all become accustomed to, so it’s easy to forget the fact that the frequency of these hot days is a small piece of a large new normal that our city is facing as a result of man-made climate change.

For example, L.A. is even hotter than the desert surrounding it as a result of the urban heat island effect, which is a product of the sun being absorbed by so many square miles of concrete, rooftops, and other exposed urban surfaces.… Read more >>

 

TreePeople Educator Joins Hal Eisner to Discuss the Amazon and Climate Change

Fires have always had a healthy place in ecosystems across the planet; they occur naturally in a process that ultimately creates more life in the long run.

But today, in the era of climate change, our relationship with and understanding of fire is changing. Now that more and more devastation is caused by humans, we have to recognize our role in these processes which can become harmful. 

December 2017 Fire Aftermath

The Amazon Rainforest is considered “the lungs of the earth” and the “heart pump of our global weather system” – it’s the world’s largest carbon dioxide sink, capturing up to 25% of the world’s CO2.… Read more >>

 

Appreciation for our Volunteers!

Here at TreePeople, August is Volunteer Appreciation Month.

Our work, at the end of the day, begins and ends with the people that support trees. One of the key groups of people doing that are our INCREDIBLE volunteers who take the time out of their days (usually weekends!) to help the world around them out of the goodness of their hearts. 

Our volunteers come in all shapes and sizes: 

Some of them are kids:

Mother's Day Tree Care at Woodbridge Park

Some of them are scouts:

TreePeople Forest Restoration at San Francisquito Canyon

Some of them are students

Water Talks in Huntington Park

Some of them have been on TV:

San Francisquito Canyon Restoration

Some of them volunteer with their whole families:

Mother's Day Tree Care at Woodbridge Park

Some of them need a little extra help:

Mother's Day Tree Care at Woodbridge Park

Some of them are called “Mayor Eric Garcetti” (well, ONE of them is):

Watts Rising Press Conference

Some of them join us in the mountains:

Calabasas Tree Care

Some of them join us at schools:

Vena Elementary School Tree Planting

And some of them join us in the streets:

Van Nuys Citizen Forester Planting

No matter who they are, where they came from, where they’ve joined us, or how they helped out, we are so endlessly grateful for every single volunteer who has worked with us! … Read more >>

 

Rotted in the Roots: Phytophthora 101

TreePeople’s gorgeous nursery is pristine. Its manager, Jack Smith, runs a tight ship in order to keep the plants inside safe and protected.  Those who enter must pass through a massive enclosure and wash their shoes in order to even go near the plants. This keeps deer, many herbivorous insects, and plant pathogens like Phytophthora from causing harm to our saplings.

Phytophthora (pronounced Fie-TOF-ther-uh) literally translates from Greek to “plant destroyer,” so we have good reason to do what we can to keep it out of the nursery.… Read more >>

 

Tips to Share with Your Gardener

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As your garden evolves from a typical lawn-centered landscape to one that is more sustainable and appropriate to our southern California climate, it is important that the maintenance of your yard shifts to accommodate the new landscape.  Sometimes this involves working with your gardener to better understand the needs of your garden.

Some helpful tips to consider:

1) Adjust Your Maintenance Schedule

The shift toward a more climate-appropriate garden encourages a shift in how to schedule gardener maintenance visits. Water-saving gardens don’t require quick, weekly maintenance, but rather more intensive maintenance on a monthly basis.… Read more >>

 

Getting Inspired by our Development Team!

We call TreePeople headquarters “Yurt Village” because it’s comprised of 7 yurts nestled together in a little corner of Coldwater Canyon Park at the very top of Beverly Hills.

Each yurt contains one or two different teams – a massive yurt at the front of the village houses the Forestry team; another holds the Environmental Education team, another Policy, another Park Operations and Grants, and one more large yurt contains Marketing/ Communications and Development.

The entire village works together like a machine to support the daily operations of TreePeople.… Read more >>

 

Weeds of the Garden

Love ‘em or hate ‘em they are hard to ignore – whether they are producing lovely flowers or taking over the garden!

What really is a weed?

Basically, it is a plant growing where you don’t want it to grow.  When caring for your low-water use, climate-appropriate garden, weeds can overtake a garden (especially after a good season of rain) competing with your plants for water, nutrients, light and dominating the space.  

At first, they seem harmless. However, left to grow, they continue to spread their seeds each year and can take over your sustainable landscape.… Read more >>

 

Celebrating our Urban Foresters

LA Times (Kathryn Welch Howe)

In cities throughout Los Angeles, where extreme heat marks the summer seasons, trees are a key component in creating safer, more comfortable neighborhoods. That’s why we’re so happy to see citizens taking the initiative to fill in the gaps in spaces that need these trees.

Take Holmby- Westwood, for example, where citizen foresters took it upon themselves to organize with us and create the beautiful green spaces they deserve. Their incredible project will include 300 trees and will take up to 10 years to complete.… Read more >>

 

Addressing Equity with TreePeople

TreePeople got its name because its founder, Andy Lipkis, recognized the interconnectedness between trees and people. We need each other to thrive in Los Angeles and we’ve made it our mission to care and fight for both.

That’s why a major factor of the work we do is improving equity in LA. We believe that people of all socioeconomic backgrounds have a right to beautiful green spaces, which have been proven to improve both mental and physical health.

Los Angeles is facing an Urban Tree Crisis due to climate change, droughts, extreme heat, emerging pests and diseases, and development, which can significantly impact Angelenos’ everyday lives as well as health and well-being.… Read more >>

 

Andy Lipkis’ Love for Trees Still Grows!

Valentine’s day is around the corner, which means love is in the air. Andy Lipkis, the Founder of TreePeople, loves his family, his friends, and, of course, trees. As “Los Angeles’ Professional Lorax,” he considers every single tree lovable and worth fighting for.

His love for the environment began in the early ’70s when, on a camping trip, he took the issue of dying forests into his own teenage hands. Since then, he’s been an activist and champion for the environment.… Read more >>

 

City of San Fernando Goes Green with Calles Verdes Kickoff!

On Saturday, January 26, 2019, TreePeople, California State Coastal Conservancy, and the City of San Fernando joined to launch Calles Verdes: an initiative to green the city!

This initiative is a multi-benefit greening project that will engage thousands of community and youth members to transform San Fernando into a model City for climate resilience.

At least 750 trees will be planted to shade sundrenched streets and absorb harmful greenhouse gasses. Streets and parking lots will be redesigned and constructed with innovative features that will capture precious stormwater to bolster water supplies and reduce polluted runoff.… Read more >>

 

TWO Challenges for Students!

TreePeople and Generation Earth are hosting two challenges for Los Angeles County school students from grades 6-12: Recycle to Win and Streets to the Sea! 

Remember, YOU CAN JOIN EITHER AT ANY TIME as long as you finish your project(s) by March 1, 2019, so please get involved!

Recycle to Win is a battle of the schools to improve their campus recycling programs. All you have to do is collect and record recyclables for at least 2 weeks in a row!… Read more >>

 

TreePeople Youth Leadership All-Star: Emily!

We want to highlight one of TreePeople’s all-star youth leaders: Emily, an 11th-grade student from Clark Media Magnet who was recently awarded a Gold Scout Award. Emily contacted TreePeople for the first time in late June 2018 wanting to enroll in TreePeople’s Summer Tree Care Program and, after a phone meeting, we realized that Emily’s true goal was to spread awareness about the importance of tree care in urban environments!

Since then, Emily has attended and completed a TreePeople Volunteer Supervisor Training through our Forestry Department.… Read more >>

 

A Dirty Recipe for Perfect Soil

 

 

One of our recent blogs gave you an idea of why organic soil is better for your plants than dousing your garden with chemicals. Here are the key components of healthy soil, explained:

 

Sand, Silt, and Clay

These materials comprise the texture of soil. While the three are comprised of rocks and minerals, they vary in composition and size. Sand is the largest grain, followed by silt, and then clay.

Organic Matter

Organic matter consists of decomposed branches, leaves, bark, roots, plants, insects, and animals.Read more >>

 

Getting Water-Wise about our Cistern!

Is this a scene from a scary movie?

Does an evil clown lurk down here?

 

Is a local acting group doing a cult film reenactment?

 

NOPE. THE TRUTH IS MUCH MORE TERRIFYING.

This is our underground cistern: it provides a smart way to collect and store up to 216,000 GALLONS of rainwater, which we use for park maintenance during extreme heat or drought. The scary thing is, sustainable water technology like this isn’t widespread in Los Angeles; and more frighteningly, we let 100 BILLION GALLONS of rainwater go to waste every year.Read more >>

 

A Night to Remember: An Evening Under the Harvest Moon

 

On one of the first fall evenings of 2018, a cool breeze blew through Coldwater Canyon Park, sending the fallen leaves of our deciduous trees dancing down the winding hiking trails.

At the top of the hill, the TreePeople Conference center bustled with energy as our massive cistern was transformed into a grand ballroom under the stars. String lights shone over dining tables, elegant place settings glowed in the soft light, massive bouquets of mauve, blush, and mulberry-colored flowers dotted the scene, and caterers weaved through the gathering crowd with trays of drinks and miniature hors d’oeuvres catered by Schaeffer’s.Read more >>

 

The Green California Schools & Community Colleges Summit and Exposition will be in Pasadena October 29-30, 2018!

Attention educators and school administrators! 2018 Green California Schools and Community Colleges Summit and Exposition will be coming to the Pasadena Convention Center October 29-30, 2018. 

The nation’s first statewide green schools event, the conference focuses on the strategies, best practices, and technologies needed to create healthy, high-performance learning environments for California students.

The opening session on October 29 will feature author and Green Schoolyards America founder Sharon Danks while State Architect Chet Widom will speak in a keynote breakfast on October 30.Read more >>

 

The Future of California Water is in Your Hands!

We’re only a few weeks out from election day and we want to remind you to vote YES on Prop 3!

The bond will invest $8.877 billion dollars in California water infrastructure, including key categories like safe drinking water, Sustainable Groundwater Management (SGMA) implementation, watershed restoration, fish and wildlife habitat conservation, infrastructure repair, and many other important water management programs.

Last month, Prop 3 was officially endorsed by The Nature Conservancy, Audubon California, and the California Council of Land Trusts!Read more >>

 

Where Will You Save Our Water?

Every year in Los Angeles, we pump 85% of our water to our city from hundreds of miles away. Meanwhile, over 100 billion gallons of rainwater are lost and polluted simply because we don’t have the infrastructure to collect it properly.

This precious, free resource goes to waste and harms the environment as it moves.

Massive issues like this one force us to ask ourselves, “where can I save water?”

 

You can save water here.

Water flows through our streets and across parking lots, picking up trash and pollution as it goes.Read more >>

 

Forest Aid: TreePeople and Boeing Launch A New Campaign for Healthy Forests and Fire Resilience

“Trees need people and people need trees,” chanted 50 elementary students from Sylmar and Inglewood, making branch shapes with their arms. The students – on field trips to Coldwater Canyon Park for the kick-off event – joined Cal Fire, LA Conservation Corps, Junior Rangers, Spectrolabs, and Sen. Bob Hertzberg on September 7 to cheer at the announcement of the new initiative in mountain forest restoration. With a $1 million legacy gift from our partners at Boeing, Forest Aid will mobilize communities, businesses, schools, and others to mitigate the effects of years of devastating fires and restore healthy forests.Read more >>

 

W is for Safe, Clean Water!

Throughout our 45-year history, water has been maybe our biggest obsession – after trees and people.

And one of the biggest moments in LosAngeles’ water history could come this November: Measure W.

Please join us in creating a safer, healthier, and greener region. Visit the Yes on W site for more information and spread the word!

Los Angeles County’s water systems were born about 100 years ago. In the name of flood control, and to tame more of the land, our predecessors engineered infrastructure to rush water down drains and into the ocean as quickly as possible.Read more >>

 

Saving Water is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

Proposition 3, the Water Supply and Water Quality Act of 2018, is a citizen’s initiative water bond that will appear on the November 2018 statewide California ballot.

The bond will invest $8.877 billion dollars in California water infrastructure, including key categories like safe drinking water, Sustainable Groundwater Management (SGMA) implementation, watershed restoration, fish and wildlife habitat conservation, infrastructure repair, and many other important water management programs.

Proposition 3 will benefit individual water users, the environment, and agriculture, and subsequently has received support across the board from conservation, agricultural, environmental justice, water, and civic organizations.Read more >>