Week 42: Tree Restoration with TreePeople
“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.” - Mahatma Gandhi
What did I do:
My friend Ellie loves to celebrate her birthday with people she loves amongst nature. For years now, she has been hosting hikes all over Southern California in late January. This year, she decided to change it up just a bit. Instead of a hike, she partnered with TreePeople to organize a day spent in the Santa Monica Mountains restoring trees, planting trees and cleaning up the landscape with a large group of friends.
Who was with me:
Ellie and I were joined by a large eclectic group of friends, young and old, who were all excited to spend time together giving back to mother nature and learning about trees.
What did I learn:
TreePeople is an organization started over 40 years ago by Andy Lipkis while he was still just a teenager. I had the pleasure of meeting Andy in 2016 at their annual harvest moon dinner. TreePeople inspires and supports the Los Angeles community to harvest rain water, renew depleted landscapes and plant/restore trees.
On our outing we were guided by TreePeople's Nathan Bock who passionately, comedically and comprehensively taught us about tree restoration and planting. For starters, he said, post people put a tree in the ground and walk away. But it can't stop just there. The first few years of a tree's life is critical to it's survival in the world and ensure the tree grows up and gets a job. For this reason, tree restoration is a big part of TreePeople's ongoing work. Our team spent the majority of the time in the mountains watering 250 young trees to balance our the lack of rain over the last 10 months.
We also learned about the immense role oak trees play in our ecosystem. While only making up 10% of the trees in California's forests, oak trees support 50% of the wildlife (mammals, birds, bugs, aquatic life) and help with erosion control.
Would I do this again:
TreePeople is wonderful organization with a critical mission that helps improve our community. I would love to team up with them again in another volunteering activity.