And that’s a wrap! Thanks to your help, another TreePeople planting season is in the books. Through our network of community champions, volunteers, donors and partners, TreePeople built upon our legacy of creating greener communities, restoring ecosystems and uniting people across Southern California in the simple act of planting a tree. In the words of TreePeople’s Senior Coordinator of Mountain Forestry, Matthew Loftis, “Caring for one person, one creek, one acre, one street, one habitat, one tree at a time, will have a tangible and lasting positive impact on you and the communities around you.”
This past planting season, which runs from autumn through spring to coordinate with the cooler and wetter half of California’s climate cycle, saw TreePeople push forward in the communities of Lynnwood and Commerce to help build shade equity. Everyone from high school students to their teachers to local city officials helped us plant a future of green, shaded tree-lined streets in the heart of South East Los Angeles. Our work continued in Watts as part of the Watts Rising collaborative, deepening our partnership with one of Los Angeles’ most historic neighborhoods. In San Fernando, TreePeople’s drive to grow the tree inventory by over 10% continues with new and exciting partnerships including with Tataviam leaders to help restore Rudy Ortega Park. Lastly, we returned to the Inland Empire where the spark of a teenager birthed what would become TreePeople over 50 years ago, kicking off our work in Riverside’s Eastside community.
Our work doesn’t stop at the streets. TreePeople remains dedicated to conserving and restoring our local mountains from the Santa Monica foothills to the forests surrounding the iconic peak of Mount Baldy. In the Santa Monica Mountains TreePeople’s mountain forestry team is working day in day out to help heal the Woolsey Fire burn scar, fighting the growth of invasive species and encouraging the return of our native oak woodlands. In the Angeles National Forest, our work continues in the Santa Clara River watershed to restore fire-scarred landscapes from chaparral lowlands to high elevation conifer stands – including stewarding the return of endangered species such as the Nevin’s Barberry back into the environment. In the higher elevations in the San Gabriel mountains, our team is helping to protect and strengthen Southern California’s pine forests as they face new challenges of increased heat and drought due to climate change.
TreePeople’s work is never done. As the season warms and the summer sun brings new challenges, our staff, volunteers and community champions are ready to help care for the trees they planted this year. By not just planting trees but nurturing them as they grow, we are helping to protect their promise of greener, healthier, cooler communities throughout Southern California. As Riverside Community Organizer, Bryan Medina, reminds us, “No matter where you live, we’re all affected by this current climate crisis. You can make a difference not just for your community now, but for the next generation!”