Meet a TreePerson: Luis Rodriguez, Volunteer and Community Engagement Lead

Get to know a staff member at TreePeople!

Photo by Adam Corey Thomas

Hey Treeps!

We’re all TreePeople — some of us just happen to work here. 

Here’s our latest installment in our Meet a TreePerson series!

Today’s TreePerson is Luis Rodriguez, Volunteer & Community Engagement Lead.

Luis grew up in Inglewood, CA, breathing pollution from cars, buses, and airplanes. He is incredibly thankful to be part of TreePeople and finds inspiration through the dedicated volunteers who help fulfill its mission statement. When he is not at TreePeople, he is raising two beautiful boys, exploring Los Angeles, and growing chiles.

What is your favorite tree? Why?

My current favorite tree is the fig tree. They grow beautifully, have beautiful soft leaves, and produce delicious fruit. I admire the tree when it drops its leaves, but more importantly, watching the new leaves grow in the Spring really reminds me to slow down and appreciate each day.

Where are you from originally? What makes it special?

My parents are from Zacatecas, Mexico. I was born and raised in Inglewood, California. One thing that makes Inglewood special is all of the people who use their yards to grow foods native to their homelands. Growing up, my neighbors always exchanged fruit from their trees with fruit from our trees.

What inspired you to join TreePeople?

My experience in social justice, education, gardening, and people management gel perfectly in this organization.

What’s your favorite TreePeople memory?

My favorite TreePeople memory is when a 5-year-old decided to interview me for her career day. She had to take pictures of me and ask me several questions. She came back two weeks later with a beautifully completed project, a box of cookies to thank the team, and a huge smile on her face.

What’s your favorite local outdoor space?

My backyard. There is nothing greater than planting seeds and watching their daily growth.

If you could have dinner with any person (living or dead) who would it be and why?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. I would love to talk Lakers, Los Angeles, intersectionality. and finding strength through differences.

What’s your favorite environmental book? Why?

The Los Angeles Thomas Guide. I love exploring!

What’s your most-played song?

Baby Shark (I bet you are singing it now). Sorry 🙂

What’s your favorite home-cooked meal?

Steamed cactus (omelette). Yum!

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I once had a cactus spine lodged in the back of my head for a week before taking it out.