TreePeople is an environmentalnonprofit that unites the power of trees,people and technology to grow asustainable future for Los Angeles.Simply put, their work is about helpingnature heal our cities.
TreePeople’s mission is to inspire,engage and support people to takepersonal responsibility for the urbanenvironment, making it safe, healthy, funand sustainable and to share the processas a model for the world.
Their early efforts in the 1970s focused oneducating and inspiring people to plant andcare for trees. Why? Because more treesmeans cooler temperatures, cleaner air,replenished groundwater supplies and a safer,more beautiful city. Expanding the tree canopy over L.A.remains one of their central goals. But theworsening impacts of global warming and thelooming threat of water shortages tell theyneed to do more.
L.A.’s urgent environmental challenges ledTreePeople to ask an important question: In placesthey can’t plant trees – e.g., where buildings andparking lots cover the land – what else can they do togreen their city? Earth’s life-giving forests inspired asolution! They can protect their natural resources and cooltheir city by using technology to re-create thehealthy functions of a forest in an urban setting.What type of technology? Examples include:permeable paving, French drains, swales, rainbarrels, cisterns and other relatively simple “forest-mimicking” innovations.
Their task now is to assistcommunities to put technology into actionalongside healthy, well-cared-for trees inorder to create a Functioning CommunityForest every neighborhood of L.A.
TreePeople inspires, engages andsupports people to take personalresponsibility for the urban environment,making it safe, healthy, fun and sustainableand to share the results as a model for theworld.
To achieve this, they... Train and support communities toplant and care for trees ;Educate schoolchildren and adultsabout environmental issues ;Demonstrate sustainable solutions tourban ecosystem problems ;Work with government agencies oncritical water issues ;Operate a beautiful public park …
TreePeople works to alleviate urbanenvironmental problems by bringing thehealing effects of the forest to their city.Heres why their work matters:Cities cover less than one percent of ourplanet, but contribute 80 percent ofgreenhouse gas emissions – a cause of globalwarming.Dark-colored pavement and rooftops insprawling cities like L.A. create “urban heatislands” that worsen global warming.
Ninety percent of the school grounds in L.A. arecovered by asphalt.L.A. has to import 85 percent of the water it uses – ata huge cost to consumers and the ecosystems thatsupply the water.L.A. has the worst air quality of any major city in theUnited States, posing a threat to the health of theirresidents.