Earth Day is this Sunday, April 22nd + I want to share with you one of my absolute favorite non-profits, TreePeople!
TreePeople is a non-profit organization that unites the power of people + trees to grow a sustainable Los Angeles. Their mission is to inspire, engage + support people to take personal responsibility for the urban environment, making it safe, healthy, fun + sustainable + to share the process as a model for the world. TreePeople’s headquarters are located at the beautiful Coldwater Canyon Park (formerly Mountain Fire Station 108) at Coldwater Canyon + Muholland Drive.
Through TreePeople you can become a part of the answer in so many ways! You can simply donate funds by becoming a member, purchasing tree donations as gifts (check out the cute Mother’s Day tree dedication card below!) or by getting your hands dirty. You can learn how to plant + care for trees on your street, plant fruit trees in low-income neighborhoods, reforest burnt mountainsides or bring it home + take any number of the many FREE workshops they offer on how to create an eco-friendly + sustainable household.
Aside from the fact that TreePeople is AMAZING I have a very personal attachment to them. TreePeople is quite literally my happy place. I moved to Los Angeles from Central Massachusetts in January 2005 after going to college in Boston. I really enjoy city life but there is a lot of truth to the saying “you can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl.” I basically grew up in the woods where our imaginations could run wild + we could be free if only until supper time. There have been many moments in my life where I have seriously considered moving to a treehouse in the woods but in truth I enjoy life when in close proximity to both the city + nature.
When I first moved to LA I would hike the popular Runyon Canyon with friends. On a lunch break it was nice + casual but on a Saturday morning it was as if we were on a walking audition or dating show. Great for the glutes but not so great for the spirit. A friend mentioned there were hiking trails on Coldwater Canyon just as it meets Muholland Drive + I had to explore the area for myself. As I stepped down the stone staircase onto the soft dirt path littered with fallen leaves that fell from the canopy of branches overhead I was nearly transported to my childhood sensibility. I was in the woods + yet I was still in LA! Before this moment I hadn’t thought it was possible to have nature within this city. There-in lies the magic of LA, as concrete as it may seem there really is natural beauty everywhere, you just have to be open + willing to look for it. TreePeople’s trails soon became my sanctuary, it was where I went when I felt homesick or frustrated, it was where I went for fresh air + to think, I have practiced yoga + meditation on it’s hillsides + I have dreamed for greater things there. It’s truly one of the most important places in LA to me + through my gratitude I have dedicated myself back to them. I have planted trees with them (I met my boyfriend of 3 years on the evening of my first tree planting, I credit good Karma for that!), I have taken many workshops, dedicated trees to family + most importantly I have witnessed the beauty + empowering impact a community has when it comes together.
So if you’re looking for a great organization to support or volunteer with TreePeople is the place to go. Not only do they offer fantastic opportunities but the nicest people work for this organization, you will end up having a great time no matter what you do! If you’re in the LA area on May 5th check out the 2nd Annual Green City Fair to see what TreePeople is like for yourself + your kids! While you’re at it check out the LA Bluegrass Station, a benefit concert in support of TreePeople featuring Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers + hosted by Ed Helms, star of The Office, how cool is that?!
If you only do one thing this Earth Day I hope it’s to give thanks to this beautiful world we all share.