TreePeople Land Trust: 2022 In Review

2022 was a busy year for TreePeople Land Trust. In addition to our usual maintenance and monitoring of over 3,000 acres in the Santa Monica Mountains, we’re excited about a few new projects that are underway:

Post-fire Restoration in La Sierra

The La Sierra Preserve’s unique geography hosts a healthy mix of native plant communities, from rugged chaparral slopes down to spring-fed freshwater wetlands. When the Woolsey Fire burned through the native tree canopy, non-native species such as tree tobacco and lamb’s quarters quickly moved in and came to dominate the stream corridors. Under a grant from the NRCS, our team worked to remove these invasive intruders and encourage resprouting natives to once again cover the streambed.

Watershed Education

Thanks to a “Whale Tail” grant from the California Coastal Commission, we successfully planned a watershed-wide educational program designed to educate high-school age students on a range of ecological concepts. A group of students from San Fernando were able to participate in three days of field trips that took them from the pristine chaparral slopes of Cold Creek all the way down to Malibu Lagoon. Curriculum developed for these trips will be utilized for future programming, as we continue our efforts to expand outdoor access and bring education back to Cold Creek. 

Studying Impact of Fire on Soils

This year marked the beginning of field work for our research with UC Riverside, where we’ll be exploring how the frequency of fire on a landscape influences the physical properties of soils, and how that influence may contribute to post-fire hazards such as flooding and debris flows. At over 80 sites throughout our preserves, soil pits are being dug, samples are being collected, and probes are being installed to shed more light on the relationship between fire and earth.

By Kevin Gaston

Kevin Gaston joined TreePeople Land Trust in 2015 and currently serves as our Deputy Director. Prior to joining the Trust, he worked in various roles for California State Parks and the National Park Service, and received his B.S. in Environmental Science & Resource Management from CSUCI. Kevin enjoys the mix of creativity and analytics involved with managing projects at TreePeople Land Trust. He believes in our mission because true environmental action requires local commitment and enthusiasm, and non-profit organizations are the best medium to harness that energy. Outside his work, you can find Kevin surfing, cooking, and reading in his backyard with his wife, Emily.