Make No Mistake: Concrete is the Enemy

Statement from Andy Lipkis, Founder and President of TreePeople, calls on Angelenos to rip out concrete and plant trees to capture what rainfall LA gets.

LOS ANGELES, Calif.– TreePeople heard fighting words when news reports showed an anti-tree group calling themselves “Save Our Concrete” holding a protest at a downtown Los Angeles parking lot earlier today.

The truth is that concrete is the enemy of Los Angeles. It is the enemy because, among other reasons, as LA suffers through historic drought, concrete takes away our water. This year to date, even in drought, Los Angeles has received 7.7” of rainfall, nearly all completely wasted.

How? That water – enough to supply 7,320 gallons for each of LA’s 4 million residents — was carried away by concrete driveways, sidewalks, gutter and storm drains straight to our river, beaches and ocean. To add insult, concrete mixed it with pollution along the way.

Concrete must be stopped. Even during drought we can capture what rain does fall, and allow it seep through the soil into our aquifers to bolster local water supplies…or capture it in tanks and use it to keep our trees alive. We urge people to seek out concrete wherever they find it in our city and counteract it with the best solution there is: planting and caring for trees. This is why Save Our Concrete has stated that trees are the enemy. Because they know that once people understand that bringing nature back to cities means we can have more water, cleaner air, and cooler temperatures, the more we’ll want concrete to go.

Trees are a big solution for our water crisis. They capture, clean and store water in their root zones. In this fourth year of drought, you decide. I hope you’ll agree that un-paving paradise makes sense, even if it means losing some parking lots.

You too can make a difference. Pledge your support and take action now!



By Andy Lipkis

Andy Lipkis is a practical visionary who has dedicated his life to healing the environment while improving the lives of individuals and communities. He founded TreePeople in Los Angeles in 1973 at age 18 and continues to serve as its President. Andy has spearheaded an approach using trees and forest-inspired technologies to make cities sustainable while mitigating floods, drought, pollution, and climate change. Called “Functioning Community Forests,” it is being demonstrated in L.A. as a model for cities everywhere.