TreePeople: Greening urban communities one tree at a time


TreePeople is a non-profit organization in Los Angeles that I was very active in for a very long time. TreePeople’s goal is:

…to inspire the people of Los Angeles to take personal responsibility for the urban forest – educating, training and supporting them as they plant and care for trees and improve the neighborhoods in which they live, learn, work and play.

I spent many weekends volunteering for TreePeople and was a group leader for years. It is an organization that I truly believe in, but I think you have to be an Angelino to understand and appreciate the existence of this organiztion and their mission.

Well, the reason why I chose to plug TreePeople here is because I got around to reading this article in Wired Magazine titled, “Careful Where You Put That Tree,” and it discusses how researchers at Stanford have found that planting forests in the wrong location can actually make the world hotter.

The article is interesting but it I don’t put much weight behind it. It ends with the following words:

“Earth systems are very complicated — you might be able to reduce warming by cutting down some trees, but that wouldn’t be good for the environment overall,” he said. “The less we interfere with the system, the more likely we are to have a healthy planet.”

That basically means we don’t really know what the outcome will be but it does raise a good question about social entrepreneurship. As social entrepreneurs go into environments to change the status quo, will cases crop up where negative externalities emerge from these activities?

Its not an important topic for now, but as the space grows, it might become an important question in the future.

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