I Am TreePeople: Zayda Ortiz

Intern life: for years, coffee runs and evil bosses were what came to mind. While that would make for a good screenplay, the average life of an intern was the complete opposite of that cliché scene during my summer here at TreePeople.

Instead of a standard office, the Forestry yurt is home to TreePeople’s  passionate staff who engage with the community by teaching them about the importance of planting and caring for trees.  Watching the other volunteers dig into making a difference for LA by greening its streets, schools, parks and neighborhoods woke something up in me– seeing the team in action gave me a glimpse of the kind of person I want to be.

I learned a lot about LA’s urban forest while here at TreePeople. During one of my work days, I sat in on a presentation about how increasing the City’s tree canopy could help keep Angelenos safe and healthy. It really deepened my appreciation for every tree we plant and take care of. It wasn’t all hard work though, we had a lot of fun, too– making behind the scenes Snapchat stories, putting trees in the ground and growing friendships.


While my internship is over now, I plan to volunteer whenever I can. It’s been an incredible couple of months being involved with TreePeople. Where else in Los Angeles will I get to start my days with a morning walk surrounded by trees?

Looking to get involved? Check out the Volunteer Calendar to see how you can grow a more climate-resilient LA!

By Caitlin Dunham

After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Forestry and Natural Resource Management, Caitlin discovered a passion for working in social media and marketing and eventually found her way to TreePeople. With her unique forestry and marketing background, Caitlin is now growing and thriving within TreePeople’s Yurt Village. She loves that she can bridge the gap between science and marketing and is at the frontlines of educating Angelenos on trees and how they can save LA.