Partnership: How Boeing Helped Us Plant 80,000 Trees

The July day was hot and the sky was smoky from the Sand Fire, but that didn’t stop the 30 dedicated volunteers from Boeing.

[blockquote source=”Volunteer Manager Peter Roquemore”]“Boeing’s volunteers are known for being some of the hardest workers,and this morning only proved that.”[/blockquote]

Gathering at the Betty Davis Picnic Area of Griffith Park, the volunteers rolled up their sleeves. Their mission: to water nearly 100 newly planted trees. Their work helped ensure that there will still be shade and beauty after drought, water restrictions and insect pests have devastated the park’s tree population.

This event was just one of dozens of tree planting and watering days that Boeing employees have joined over the past three decades. The company’s generosity has supported 12,000 volunteers to plant 80,000 seedlings in the San Bernardino and Angeles National Forests, reforesting fire-damaged areas between 2008 and 2012. Boeing also made possible our innovative LA-Australia Exchange, which has taught valuable lessons to LA from how Australia managed its devastating 12-year drought.

We’re grateful for the generous investments of nearly $3 million over the years from the Employees Community Fund of Boeing California, The Boeing Company and the Boeing Charitable Trust that have helped build our programs and facilities.

Mark Spiwak, Boeing executive champion and TreePeople Board Member, takes a break from planting trees in Griffith Park to show off an inchworm.
Mark Spiwak, Boeing executive champion and TreePeople Board Member, takes a break from planting trees in Griffith Park to show off an inchworm.

Our shared history with Boeing goes back a long way: in 1984, a McDonnell Douglas employee named Beverly Hoskinson began supporting us through grants. But it didn’t end there. After merging with The Boeing Company, our partnership continued to grow. Now, with Boeing celebrating its 100th birthday, it shows no signs of slowing down its good work.

“This passion—and an enduring commitment to build something better throughout our next 100 years—extends to our local communities,” Mark Spiwak, Vice President of Boeing’s Commercial Satellite Systems said. “We partner with like-minded organizations like TreePeople to drive positive, lasting change in the places we call home.”

Spiwak, who is also one of our Board Members, said volunteering with us for this morning of tree care reminded him of Boeing’s founder, Bill Boeing’s philosophy – to “build something better.”

Even as fire and heat have claimed the lives of millions of California trees, this partnership has been helping create a greener Los Angeles. That’s something worth celebrating!

Inspired? Visit our website to see how your company can support our work to make a lasting impact on LA.


By Caryn Bosson

Caryn Bosson has been a TreePerson since 1984. As TreePeople’s Director of Strategy, she helps the organization play a leading role in transforming Greater LA into a healthy, viable environment. She loves trees, and California native oak trees most of all.