When I first heard of TreePeople, I was wondering if it was an organization for people who love trees or if it was a secret organization of the “Ents” from Lord of the Rings. It turns out the former is correct, and the efforts of TreePeople are all about inspiring the people of Los Angeles to plant and care for trees. Their work becomes more important as the city continues to grow and we pave over much of its green beauty. I have always been a nature lover and have passed this trait down to my family, so that with each generation, we continue to respect the Earth and do our part to sustain her beauty. Nature and motherhood go hand in hand.
I noticed that as the world begins to rely more and more on technology, nature takes a back seat. It’s like we think the only way forward is by digitizing everything and spreading the concrete jungle as far as the eye can see. What so many fail to realize is just how critical trees are to our survival. Apart from the fact that plants provide the very air that we need, there are many reasons to turn LA green.
Concrete scorches in the sun—it doesn’t provide the same safe haven as lush green trees. At the same time, the more rivers we pave over, the less water we have available because it cannot soak into the ground where we need it. We need to replace the concrete jungle with a green one and let nature do its job; that way we can restore healthy soil, conserve water and harvest the rain.
I strive to pass these ideals onto my children, which is why on a brisk fall morning I found myself and my daughter in the Santa Monica Mountains at a TreePeople restoration event. Surrounded by nature, we were instructed in how to remove invasive species and replace them with natives, making the mountains habitable to local animals and insects and stronger in the face of disasters such as fire. Thrilled, we chose the tree that we would plant that morning and got going!
My daughter and I dug our hands and tools into the earth, taking care to follow each step we learned earlier in the morning to give the tree the best chance of living a long, healthy life. Just we were planting a tree into the Earth, I was planting the seed of caring for this planet in my daughter’s heart.
They say that the Santa Monica Mountains are the lungs of Los Angeles because they provide so much oxygen to surrounding areas far and wide. We were proud to know we helped people to breathe a little easier, that we made our local mountains greener and stronger, that we gave places for native animals and plants to live, and that we helped to build and clean our waterways between the Santa Monica Mountains and the ocean.
It felt good taking care of our Mother Earth, just as I take care of my daughter and my mother took care of me. This Mother’s Day, TreePeople is offering an opportunity to do the same with a tree dedication. Show the mom in your life that she’s your world by giving her the Earth. Give the gift of trees.