Tree People

Last weekend, I was on my way to go camping in the San Gabriel Mountains just north of L.A., when I saw signs on the Angeles Crest Highway that said, simply, Tree People. So, of course, I followed them. I found lots of people and, yes, lots of trees. Fifty volunteers had come out to plant 150 ponderosa and Coulter pines, and to water the trees that the group planted lasted year.

Tree People was started by teenagers in the mid-70s and now has about forty full-time employees who work out of yurts in Coldwater Canyon Park. The group has become a model for tree planting initiatives throughout the country and is also involved in Mayor Villaraigosa’s Million Tree Initiative which, you guessed it, aims to plant a million trees throughout the city. (They’re currently up to 41,269.)

It’s heart-warming, given the recent wildfires, the perpetual smog, and the city’s dedicated passion for internal combustion.

And, of course, if you show up to a Tree People event, you might even meet a green Hollywood hunkeroo.