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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Environmental Education, Forest Conservation, Water, Water Resources, Wetlands Conservation & Management

Mission: TreePeople's mission is to inspire, engage and support people to take personal responsibility for the urban environment, making it safe, healthy, fun and sustainable and to share the results as a model for the world.

Programs: Treepeople's education programs: provide hands-on, science-based environmental curricula to kindergarten through twelfth-grade students each year, providing direct and indirect benefit to nearly 350,000 local students and teachers. In addition to increasing science education in schools, these programs are designed to inspire and empower future generations to take action for the environment. In addition, treepeople's community education program trains thousands of adults to plant and care for trees, transform their landscapes to be sustainable, and harvest rainwater.

treepeople's forestry programs: inspire thousands of volunteers to plant and care for trees, distribute fruit trees to low-income angelenos, and restore damaged natural ecosystems in parks, mountains, neighborhoods and school yards throughout greater los angeles. Special focus is given to areas most in need of tree canopy. Treepeople's pioneering citizen forestry model gives ordinary people the extraordinary ability to improve their environment by incorporating nature and "forest-mimicking" technologies into their urban landscape. In 2003, the united nations world forestry organization recognized treepeople's forestry work as a global model for other large cities.

treepeople's policy programs work with all levels of government to create progressive laws, policies and incentives to support 21st century "green" infrastructure, using nature and nature-based technologies to make los angeles sustainable. Over the past 20 years, treepeople has played a leading role in demonstrating that it is technologically, socially and environmentally feasible to use green infrastructure to create a local water supply source and transform neighborhoods to be healthy and resilient. Now, faced with an historic drought and a changing climate, treepeople's leadership is needed more than ever. Policy initiatives include an innovative multi-agency collaborative recently recognized by the environmental protection agency, a 2014 leadership delegation to learn the lessons from australia's 12-year millennium drought, and the development of the los angeles department of water and power's first-ever stormwater capture master plan.

treepeople has embarked on a multi-year effort to expand program delivery with maximum efficiency, including the following:- regionalization: treepeople is concentrating programs on geographic areas of greatest need in order to develop sustainable networks of local citizens, businesses and public agencies committed to environmental stewardship. - civic engagement and education via technology: treepeople is building web-based systems to help recruit, train and support volunteers - resulting in increased personalized service and operational efficiency. - strategic partnerships: treepeople is using formal agreements with government agencies that oversee public land to create "distribution systems" for delivering forestry and education programs, as well as creating agreements with public works and utility agencies so they can take advantage of treepeople's research and experience in regional water issues. - strategic investors: treepeople seeks philanthropic and corporate investors to fund initiatives over multiple years, providing the organization with long-term stability, flexibility and success. The award-winning treepeople center for community forestry includes a four-acre campus of sustainably-designed buildings - the s. Mark taper foundation environmental learning center, the w. M. Keck foundation nursery, the la kretz urban watershed garden and the conference center. Designed by marmol radziner and associates, the conference center achieved the u. S. Green building council's leed (leadership in energy and environmental design) highest rating of platinum. These structures as well as the parking area collect rainwater which is then stored in a 216,000-gallon cistern, underground, for use in irrigating the gardens. Throughout the 45-acre park, a new interpretive program provides visitors with innovative and inspiring displays. Visitors' experience of the park is enhanced by recent conservation work to ensure the future health of native plants and wildlife, as well as improvements to hiking trails and the outdoor amphitheatre. An ongoing series of events and programs brings local and national leaders together to find solutions to the looming water and energy crisis facing los angeles and many other urban centers in the coming decade.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

TreePeople has helped me plan and carry out three tree planting projects at my son's school. The best part has been that the students were able to help plant the trees themselves. TreePeople was so great at explaining to them why planting trees is important, and how to do it correctly. They even had shovels small enough for the kindergarten students to use! The playground use to be sweltering hot and completely unshaded - now it's green, shady, and so, so beautiful.

Review from Guidestar


Rating: 1

they refused to answer when i asked what was done with my donation and when i stopped donating and asked to be removed they continue to send me mailings 6 months after i asked to be removed

Review from CharityNavigator


Rating: 4

Tree People does a wonderful job with education. Their primary focus at this time is in education about watershed functions. To do this, they have a large plastic suitcase that shows how trees absorb water or contribute to groundwater supplies. It is interesting, but gets a lot of puzzled looks because most people approaching the booth want to learn about trees. Perhaps coupled with a display/infographic that gives some great talking points/numbers/information about Tree People displayed for passers-by, the entire outreach would be more successful. (as a side-note, since there is so much explaining to do, volunteers spend a lot of time talking and interacting, but quickly lose the interest of passers-by).

Previous Stories


Rating: 5

We went on a treepeople tree care outreach, and it was a lot of fun and a lot of great information. In one morning, with hands-on work, all of us learned more about caring for trees (such as how to add mulch, prune, and what to look for in healthy trees) than I had ever thought to know! I was even able to use some of this knowledge on my own plants and trees at home.

Great fun, and a real-world way to help out in Los Angeles.

Their website has events for city blocks, as well as plantings in parks and even in the mountains. I already signed up for a tree planting in the Angeles forest!