In the middle of the go-go-go vibes of Los Angeles and in the midst of this go-go-go world, it warms my soul to know that in the heart of this town lie untapped and sparsely touched green spaces, sprawling as wide as the eyes can see – from the rolling hills to the Pacific Ocean. Starting in the San Gabriel Mountains in the East with the the Angeles Crest Highway down to Griffith Park, the Mulholland Scenic Route and into Malibu – there are plenty of places that you can go get lost in the trees for a few hours and find your center. Lush landscapes and valleys are scattered among the hustle and bustle, fully equipped with wanderlust worthy views and even hidden waterfalls – if you know where to look.
In an attempt to live in a ‘take less, give more’ state of mind, I’m eager to jump at volunteer opportunities – and double so when it involves either nature, animals – or preferably, both. For all that I feel nature gives to me, the other week I had a unique opportunity to give back to Mother Earth with the fantastic NonProfit, Treepeople. Located in the midst of Mulholland, Treepeople proudly sits on over 45 acres of beautiful mountainside. Though Beverly Hills isn’t exactly the area of Los Angeles one thinks of when “community service” pops into your head, or the logical vicinity for volunteer work, just one trip up to Coldwater Canyon Park will change your tune. Between blazing trails and clearing paths through the neighboring canyon, community education and Summertime music and fun in the park, Treepeople have been giving back to the neighborhood for over 40 years. Between planting over 3 million trees around the community and engaging over 3 million Angelinos to give back, Treepeople have grown into a vital part of the Los Angeles ecosystem.
The vision of Treepeople is simple: they believe in healthy soil, plenty of tree canopy to provide shade and last but certainly not least – clean, local drinking water through inspiring the community to take action and raise their voice to be heard by movers and shakers like district policymakers. They host plenty of volunteer events throughout the week, and well into the weekends – with their Springtime tree planting by far being the most popular. Pro tip: it’s easier to participate in tree planting if you go through your place of employment versus flying solo. For the few hours I was there, our job varied from wrestling with tree branches and prepping them to become mulch, scattering the mulch along the trail-side and making the venue event appropriate, but if you choose this adventure there’s a good chance you’ll be up to something different. Make sure you go with comfortable, hiking shoes, clothes that you don’t mind going a little dirty in and a healthy attitude – you’re about to get it in, give back, and feel damn good about it.
Open from dawn to dusk year round, you don’t have to be volunteering to visit the grounds. There are plenty of paths to prance around, a sustainable stream running through the middle and the view – oh, man, the view.
For more on Treepeople, head to their social media channels.