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Earth Day '98 / April 22

TreePeople Recruiting Volunteers

April 19, 1998|CONNIE KOENENN

* Earth Day tip: Become a citizen forester and plant a tree.

TreePeople, the environmental group that plants and cares for Los Angeles' scattered but extensive urban forest, will celebrate Earth Day on Wednesday with a gathering to honor--and recruit--volunteers that will include a sunset hike.

"Volunteers come here because it feels good. People want to know how they can help restore the Earth. They are coming to the realization that they depend on the Earth and want to do something about it," says Adam Skolnick, manager of the volunteer program.

An informal orientation to introduce newcomers to the group's many projects will open the event, scheduled for 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the TreePeople Coldwater Canyon Park complex on Mulholland Drive. That will be followed by a short hike to watch the sunset from the scenic new amphitheater tucked into a sycamore and oak grove in the 50-acre mountaintop park.

"TreePeople has approximately 1,300 volunteers and always needs more," says staffer Leslie Mylius. "They do everything from planting trees to working in the office or park."

TreePeople has achieved national acclaim for its work in Los Angeles, advocating the planting of shade trees, which helps lower energy costs and reduce pollution while adding beauty to the cityscape. Since its founding 25 years ago, the organization has planted more than 1.5 million trees in the Los Angeles Basin.

Its Citizen Forestry Training program, established in 1986, has graduated more than 400 citizen foresters, who lead planting projects. TreePeople also has an extensive education program for public schools and distributes fruit trees to help underserved communities become more self-sustaining by growing their own fruit.

"Our volunteers are a very diverse group of all ages and every ethnicity," Skolnick says. "The idea is to get people involved." For more information: (818) 753-4600.

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