Volunteer Spotlight: Wendy Hagan

TreePeople fosters relationships—with the Earth, our cities and with each other, no matter our ages or backgrounds. It’s this multi-generational value that forges lasting bonds and a passion to cherish and protect the environment. Enter Wendy Hagan, a local science teacher at Granada Hills Charter High School. Her story dates back years ago. A native Southern Californian, she volunteered with us back when she herself was in elementary school.

“I remember going to a TreePeople event with my school when I was in the 5th grade. You got to plant and name your tree—mine was Elmer,” Hagan shared with us in a recent conversation.

She said her connection with TreePeople was strengthened by planting trees in her “own backyard” and the opportunity to meet other people in her community who also wanted to green the city and protect surrounding forests. It was these relationships and actions that cultivated her deep commitment to the movement she still has to this day.

Student volunteers at Santa Monica Mountain restoration.
Granada Hills Charter High School students at a Santa Monica Mountain restoration event.

She now teaches an AP Environmental Science class and leads a Leaders of Environmental Awareness and Protection Club and Envirothon Academic Team at her school—and she encourages all her students to participate in our programs. Hagan instills in her students a love for the environment and has even motivated youth to become TreePeople Volunteer Supervisors and Citizen Foresters, attend Urban Forestry and mountain restoration events, and join our drought tours and native plant walks.

“I really enjoy driving past planting sites (in the Santa Monica Mountains) after 15 years to see the impact,” Hagan said.

Santa Monica Mountains
Santa Monica Mountains

We give our abundant gratitude for people like Wendy who share their dedication to the environment with youth and their communities and motivate them to take action. It’s people like her that enable us to empower more Angelenos to make an impact in our city.

Does our work speak to you? Consider making a contribution today to help us continue our vital outreach. Our’s is a two-pronged approach. Not only do we encourage grassroots action in LA’s schools, homes and neighborhoods, but we also are deeply embedded at the policy level to work with thought leaders and agencies to make sustainable infrastructure and resources available for the masses. This all wouldn’t be possible without the support of volunteers and donors.

Together, let’s work together to heal our city with the power of nature, and inspire many more generations of LA students. Donate today.




By Jessica Jewell

Jessica is TreePeople’s Director of Marketing and Communications. A native Southern Californian, you can find her wandering local trails, hanging out with her sidekick, Penny the Rescue Puppy, on her yoga mat, reading some Phillip K. Dick, or in her kitchen cooking up vegan confections.

Jessica's professional background goes back to her time working at PETA where she worked on celebrity campaigns, and a stint in the entertainment industry, where she worked at Technicolor on their Global Marketing Team.