5 Reasons to Celebrate Biodiversity Day


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 >>

Skip the Artificial Turf: The Value of Native Plants and the Truth About Fake Grass


For decades Angelenos have maintained an image of the perfect suburban yard. We imagine homes with neatly trimmed hedges, colorful flower beds beneath the windows and a lush, green, well-manicured lawn rolling right up to the front door.

The perpetuation of this image has skewed our sense of natural beauty. Not only is that ideal simply not sustainable in our climate, but in order to achieve it people sometimes turn to what they think is a good alternative: artificial turf. In other words, fake grass.… Read more >>

Coast Live Oak Falls Prey to Gophers

gopher eaten stump

You know it’s dry when gophers start taking down trees.

Why is that? Well, normally tree roots make up part of your standard gopher diet. They’ll tunnel down to a tree’s root ball, chow down for a little while, and then move on. But as long as they only eat part of the roots – which is usually how it goes – the tree can still get plenty of nutrients and water from the soil, so it remains healthy. … Read more >>

Celebrate Urban Trees as Superheroes on National Arbor Day, April 26


U.S. Forest Service researchers have published compelling evidence* of urban trees’ immense carbon storage capacity. Along with the other many things they do to improve the environment, trees absorb carbon dioxide emissions from a multitude of pollution sources in our cities. “Thus,” the researchers conclude, “urban trees influence local climate, carbon cycles, energy use, and climate change.”

National Arbor Day is April 26. We join our friends at Alliance for Community Trees in the firm belief that reducing atmospheric CO2 is one of the most important functions of the urban forest—and that people can play a big role.… Read more >>