LA StormCatcher: You Asked, We Answered

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In early November, we debuted our groundbreaking pilot project: LA StormCatcher (#LAStormCatcher). The collaborative brings Los Angeles County and City agencies and community members together to capture stormwater in the face of ongoing drought and a changing climate reality.

Our first pilot site, located in North Hollywood, kicks off a series of renovations designed to show how capturing stormwater at home can increase local water supply, reduce flooding and improve water quality. The project launched with a  press conference that brought a rush of positive buzz and interest, and even had LA’s own Mayor Garcetti and County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl in attendance. Read more >>

What Do UCLA, Trout and El Nino Have in Common?

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Each year we look forward to late September, when we rally a hearty group of volunteers to celebrate National Park Lands Day. The day was established to unite people from all over the country to promote the protection of public lands.

Compassionate volunteers painstakingly removed snails before dumping this couch.

Compassionate volunteers painstakingly removed snails before dumping this couch.

Here at TreePeople, we were excited to be one of over 2,500 sites in participation—with a focus on our restoration of the Santa Monica Mountains. Initially, our Wildlands Restoration Manager, Cody Chappel, had planned to coordinate 70 volunteers to remove abandoned junk—couches, appliances, fencing, and more!—left behind by squatters, decades ago near Topanga Canyon.… Read more >>

Mayor Garcetti Joins TreePeople Gala

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This weekend we were joined by 400 of our biggest supporters and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti for our 28th annual fundraising gala, An Evening Under the Harvest Moon.

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This year’s program focused on California’s ongoing drought and our commitment to create a water-secure Los Angeles.  Mayor Garcetti’s keynote speech inspired us all, as he spoke of the critical nature of our work and pushed us to continue moving toward higher conservation goals. (Fun fact: He’s been involved with TreePeople since he was a teen!)

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TreePeople’s Park Also Suffering From Drought

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This is—well, was—Elvis Presleaf, one of the oldest trees here in our park. After 80 years of life, Mr. Presleaf was just one of 18813838585_3399f1ee67_kdozens of trees in our park which have succumb to the debilitating drought.

Elvis played an important role in our Eco-tours. Over the past 20 years, he shaded nearly 200,000 visiting students at the Dirt Doctor Station, where kids learn the importance of soil.

It’s easy to forget how severely trees are affected by drought. After all, LA yards look pretty green.… Read more >>

The Artifice of Artificial Turf

Dominic Alves via Flickr Creative Commons

You may have been hearing a lot of praise for fake grass in the media lately, but I’m here to set the record straight: Fake turf does more harm than good.

I’m not sure when I started hating artificial grass. Maybe it was when my beloved grandmother planted fake flowers in her garden beds so the Easter photos would “turn out nice.” For the record, I tried to pick them, and everyone laughed at us.

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But I think it has to do more with the sheer fact that fake grass, or it’s trendier name—frass—has no place in a sustainable landscape.… Read more >>

Student Hacktivists Create Watershed Solutions for LA Schools

Hughes Middle School

This May, students from diverse communities across LA County gathered at Walt Disney Studios to participate in Generation Earth’s Streets to the Sea Challenge. The top performing teams had the opportunity to experience forward-thinking presentations on sustainability, as well as present their solutions to a panel of judges.

These kids got fired up!

 

Generation Earth, an environmental education program of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works presented by TreePeople, designed the challenge to inspire students to “hack” a stormwater pollution prevention plan to keep waterways and oceans clean.… Read more >>

5 Reasons to Celebrate Biodiversity Day

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The United Nations has named May 22 The International Day for Biological Diversity! But why does biodiversity matter, and what does it mean for you?

At the highest level, biodiversity refers to all the different species on planet Earth. But on a much smaller scale, you could study the biodiversity within a local ecosystem, like the Santa Monica Mountains, the LA River or a neighborhood park.

The Earth is an incredibly complex machine, with all its interrelated organisms and ecosystems playing an important and necessary part.… Read more >>