Sunday, January 31, 2010


Have you ever been driving up Coldwater Canyon, saw the sign for TreePeople and wondered what that was all about?

No, people aren’t swinging from trees or living in them. TreePeople is a nonprofit organization geared to teaching sustainability through trees, people and technology. In addition, they have some well-used hiking trails with sweeping views of the San Fernando Valley, plus stretches where you feel removed from civilization.

The learning opportunities begin in the parking lot with a panel explaining the air temperature differences between asphalt and lighter-colored paving surfaces. As with other materials, lighter colors reflect the sunlight, while darker absorbs. Surround the lighter surfaces with some trees, and substantial heat can be blocked. Think about what a shift this could make in our over-heated planet!

Another display shows how a concrete covered surface “cannot breathe,” and how mulch helps retain water in the soil. Hmm, since we haven’t completely escaped our draught situation, having ground cover instead of concrete is worthy of consideration.

Now that you’ve got something to think about, choose among the options for hiking. Although there were trail runners, most folks leaned to more casual walking as the paths were not strenuously steep. Check out their schedule for the Full Moon Hikes, which I can recommend. They are popular so you need to reserve your space.

So get out there, walk around some trees and see how TreePeople are making a difference.

Click here to go to their Web site.

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