We’re all TreePeople — some of us just happen to work here.
Here’s our latest installment in our Meet a TreePerson series!
Today’s TreePerson is Peter Massey, Contracts Compliance Manager
Peter has more than 15 years of experience in grant and contract design and management, with a total value exceeding $30 million. Unique projects include funding for TreePeople Center and Urban Watershed Garden, LA County’s application to the state for $9.3m for water projects in low-income neighborhoods, and a landmark study of five Australian cities’ response to their 10-year Millennium Drought. His previous experience includes serving as an executive for two arts organizations.
What is your favorite tree? Why?
The California Coast Live Oak living in my backyard. It’s huge, probably 100 years old, it’s canopy covers the backyard and makes the yard look like a painting by Pierre Renoir (without all the people). It also keeps the house cool in summer; we don’t turn on the AC until the outside temperature hits 90°F.
Where are you from originally? What makes it special?
Omaha, Nebraska. People on the Plains seem to have a lot of integrity and respect for each other.
What inspired you to join TreePeople?
A friend asked me to apply to be TreePeople’s first full-time grants manager. I loved the idea of helping to build the program, and of course, I fell in love with Coldwater Canyon Park. Now I get to work on public contracts that support exciting projects. It’s kept me here for 18+ years.
What’s your favorite TreePeople memory?
Spending a month in 2012 touring 4 cities in Australia with Founder Andy Lipkis, Edith De Guzman and Rebecca Drayse. We met with academicians, water agencies and residents to understand how those cities survived a 10-year drought. It turned out to be a crystal ball predicting how our own California drought would play out (which began the same year), including massive wildfires.
What’s your favorite local outdoor space?
If you could have dinner with any person (living or dead) who would it be and why?
My father. He passed away more than 40 years ago when I was very young. We have so much to catch up on!
What’s your favorite environmental book? Why?
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. It started everything to help us understand the damaging impact we’ve designed into modern society and is still very relevant today, 60 years later.
What’s your most-played song?
“Living in the Country” by Pete Seeger (played by George Winston).
What’s your favorite home-cooked meal?
Salmon, quinoa, and veggies with creamy pesto sauce.
What’s a fun fact about yourself?
I’ve been a playwright for many years. Two solo shows and several readings/workshops have been done in LA.