Contributing Monkie G Monkie
Published on March 27, 2009
On this edition of G Living’s Room101 our special guest is the founder of Tree People, Andy Lipkis. Andy has decided planting millions of decorative trees in the city isn’t enough. No, he says, trees are great but if we don’t build the entire forest eco-system around the tree’s they will never be able to do the job we so desperately need them to do. He believes this expanded mission, is so important, that it just might save Los Angeles from it’s self.
What does that mean? Well, L.A. like most of the major cities around the world, is a dirty beast. The 13 million or so people living in and around L.A. live a chemically dirty life. During the course of a day, your average Los Angeleno will do their fair share to dirty the place up. They will dump unknown amounts of waste into the land fills, pour vast amount of pesticide and chemical fertilizers onto their un-stainable lawns and drive their cars all over town, to make sure the air over their heads gets a little too.
Now this goes on day after day after day, year after year and unlike northern cities, there isn’t a whole lot of rain to wash this stuff away. L.A. which is basically a semi desert, only has a few months of rain. And when the rains do come, there isn’t any place for it to go. You see, the wise old city elders made sure that thing called earth was safely sealed away under an ocean of asphalt and concrete. They even made sure the good old river go her fair share of concrete too, transforming it into a massive high speed drain straight to the ocean.
Now the problem with all that rain, running off the city into a drain, is that it carries along all those chemicals straight to the ocean with zero chance of cleaning up. You see, the earth, if it was exposed to the water, would suck it up and act as a natural filter but since L.A. is for the most part, sealed up, it no longer serves that function and what might be even worse or just as bad, is that L.A. needs that water. The city has been stealing water for years from thousands of miles away to feed the never ending need of its bloated population. If the city could some how harvest the rains and filter out the chemicals, it would solve two massive problems that right now are completely out of control.
That is exactly what Andy is trying to do. He is working with city officials to help turn back time by re-creating a forest ecology in the heart of the concrete jungle. By creating a series of natural systems and exposing the river bed and advance interconnected water storage tanks, he thinks he can solve the problem. A tree can suck up thousands of gallons of water, during a single down pour of rain, but it needs to be part of a forest eco-system to do it’s job right says Andy.
Learn more by checking out this edition of Room101 with Tree Peoples founder Andy Lipkis.