Maria Adame, Youth Leadership Coordinator
Maria first stumbled upon TreePeople while in search of fun activities to do with her high school friends. After witnessing the magic of the moonlight hike for herself, she decided it wouldn’t hurt to apply for the job opening that would allow her to create that magic for others. Two years after becoming an On-Site Tours Educator, she moved on to become one of TreePeople’s Youth Leadership Coordinators, where she currently works aiding middle and high school students in becoming the environmental leaders of tomorrow.
What is your favorite tree? Why?
My favorite tree is the California Sycamore, despite being allergic to the powdered mildew on its fuzzy leaves. The California Sycamore has so many wondrous aspects, there is no way I could choose another tree as my favorite. For starters, Sycamore means “dry love” in Latin. How cool is that? Aside from its name, its humongous leaves and grey mosaic trunk make this tree’s beauty stand out among the tree crowd.
Where are you from originally? What makes it special?
I was born in Sylmar, California. Despite being born in Southern California, a good chunk of my childhood was spent in the small town of my parent’s birth, Colima, Mexico. That is where I learned the significance of our debt to nature. Every morning, my grandpa would go out and milk our cows so that we could have fresh chocolate milk. I would then go to school and collect nance to bring home for my grandma to turn into a refreshing agua fresca. After school, I’d run around collecting insects for my ladybug hospital. Nature surrounded me in a way it wouldn’t upon my return to the US. Without those experiences, I am unsure I would understand the true value of nature and all it does for us.
What inspired you to join TreePeople?
Whether I was making leaf concoctions to use as medicine while playing doctor or competing with my younger brother to see who could catch the most fire ants, nature was my primary source of entertainment growing up. I lost that upon my return to the US, where I lived in a suburban area with little to no tree cover. It was then that I decided I wanted to be able to share the magic of the outdoors with those who had yet to experience it.
What’s your favorite local outdoor space?
My favorite outdoor space is Coldwater Canyon Park and not because I’m biased, but because it is truly a beautiful natural space.
If you could have dinner with any person (living or dead) who would it be and why?
If I could have dinner with anyone living or dead, it would be poet William Blake. His perspective on the world is so different to any other that’s ever been shared with me.
What’s your favorite environmental book? Why?
While many might not consider Dune by Frank Herbet an environmental book, I would argue that it is. It touches on the importance of the preservation of the natural environment and touches on the hardships of living with the repercussions of an unsustainable past. Despite being a work of fiction, I think there is a lot to be learned of the way in which natural resources, like water, are perceived by the characters living in a grim, but hopeful, future.
What’s your most-played song?
My most-played song of the moment is TV Girl’s “Pantyhose.”
What’s your favorite home-cooked meal?
My favorite home-cooked meal is sweet enchiladas.
What’s a fun fact about yourself?
I enjoy re-purposing clothes by sewing them into new, more fashion-forward pieces.