Enough For Us All! (But We Have To Do Our Part)


“We have enough water to live on, but not enough to waste.” — Dorothy Green, founding president of Heal the Bay.

Dorothy Green wrote these words in an article that was published in the Los Angeles Times in 2008, shortly before her death. She went on to outline a thoughtful set of recommendations to create a sustainable water supply for Southern California.

So it is disheartening to see a Times article appear six years later that practically suggests that, despite this being the driest year in recorded history, everything’s fine.… Read more >>

Why 57 Million Monarchs Matter

Monarch Butterfly

In case you missed it in The New York Times, “This year, for the first time in memory, the monarch butterflies didn’t come, at least not on the Day of the Dead. They began to straggle in a week later than usual, in record-low numbers. Last year’s low of 60 million now seems great compared with the fewer than three million that have shown up so far this year. Some experts fear that the spectacular migration could be near collapse.”

WOW!…

Taking on the Tyranny of Turf

Tyranny of Turf

It’s lining up to be another dry winter, with water reserves at worryingly low levels. So what’s with L.A.’s obsession with expansive green lawns? How did this landscape ideal, imported from rainy Northern Europe, come to mean the good life in water-scarce Los Angeles? Can we keep it up, or is there a better way? Is the better way possibly even more beautiful?

On Sunday, November 17 at 3pm, TreePeople will partner with the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West to answer some of these questions.… Read more >>

The Real Eco Choice for Southwest Landscapes

Is the summer heat leaving you feeling a bit parched? Perhaps your landscaping is thirsty, too? If so, you’re not alone. People all over the southwestern United States are realizing that our traditional green lawn landscapes are more difficult and expensive to keep watered in hot, dry years like this one. So much so that cities are actually paying residents to rip-up their grass and replace it with climate-appropriate plants.

No matter where you stand on the aesthetics of the issue, the fact is that losing the lawn allows cities to reduce water consumption—amazingly, by up to a third—even while the population grows.… Read more >>

Abuzz About the Power of Parkways!

Up until recently, many Angelinos didn’t even know what a parkway was. Often called a planting strip, median, nature space or tree lawn—people were confused about what to call it, much less what to do with this section of our cityscape.

Now all that’s changed. One little LA Times column by Steve Lopez, lots of work from Los Angeles City Councilmember Herb Wesson, the dedication of groups like LA Green Grounds, the Urban Ag Working Group, Farmscape, the LA Garden Council, Root Down LA, Los Angeles Community Action Network, Hunger Action Los Angeles, the Wynbrandt Farm, Community Health Councils, St.… Read more >>

The Real Truth About Fake Grass


True or false? Artificial turf or “fake grass” is a great alternative to traditional lawns for water-scarce Los Angeles.

It needs no water, requires basically no maintenance, and is often billed as an eco-friendly choice because it is made from things like recycled tires. Seems like a no-brainer, but fake grass is not a good choice if your goal is a sustainable landscape. Here’s why.

Like many fake things, its beauty is only skin deep. The goal of an eco-friendly choice is a thriving eco-system.… Read more >>

Not Your Momma’s Fire Season

Santa Monica Mountain Restoration

Fire season is a part of LA, right?  Like earthquakes and off-the-rails movie stars, if we’ve survived them once we can do it again, right?  Wrong.

The problem is that with the climate changing, things are getting more intense.  This is not your momma’s fire season.

Southern California is in its seventh driest year on record.  This year’s January-through-March time period was the driest for LA, EVER.  Those three months of rain are crucial for us.  With almost no rainfall at the beginning of the year, the moisture content of plants in our local hills and mountains is already very low.  … Read more >>