Engaging youth is a cornerstone of TreePeople’s values, dating back to when our founder Andy Lipkis started replanting forests at just 15 years old. In the spirit of our roots, we offered a group of teens from a local Boys and Girls Club a series of workshops leading up to a tree care event in Penmar Park in Santa Monica on February 23rd.
Our Environmental Education team worked with the youth for weeks ahead of the tree care event, instilling the importance of trees and how to care for them. The youth met with Enjoli Ferrari, TreePeople’s Service Learning Manager and Youth Leadership Specialist of Environmental Education, who took them on a site visit to the park to assess the condition of the trees and taught them important tree care principles, such as why it’s importance to use mulch and build berms.
“I want them to understand that trees planted by the city sometimes don’t have a maintenance plan, and to know the signs when trees are struggling so they can help care for them,” she went on.
The event went off without a hitch, with a crowd of Boys and Girls Club teens enthused and ready to go around the park to care for the thirsty trees. The event brought our relationship with the park full circle, as we consulted with the Department of Public Works on a cistern living right underneath the surface that has the capacity to hold up to 2.75 million gallons of water!
The project will come to wrap up with a field trip to our very own Coldwater Canyon Park to visit our Center for Community Forestry. The students will learn about all the native wildflowers in bloom, go on a drought response tour where Ferrari will demonstrate rainwater capture and how stormwater flows through LA in our watershed garden and also meet with Linda Eremita, TreePeople’s ISA Certified Arborist, who will share her career path story and how they too can be champions for nature.
We’re honored to be in the position to inspire young people to to care for our local ecosystem, and to task them with developing the leadership to take on greening their own schools and communities. We also thank ACTrees, a national nonprofit dedicated to building communities to plant, sustain and advocate for trees around America, for their support in this project!
You can help us continue our outreach to green LA and plant seeds of change in Angelenos by contributing today!