Los Angeles, CA (June 5, 2008)- TreePeople, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, today announced that it has received a $1 million grant from The Boeing Company [NYSE:BA] to launch a comprehensive California Wildfire Restoration Initiative in response to the numerous wildfires that have ravaged Southern California in recent years.
The gift was announced at a press conference held today at TreePeople headquarters in Coldwater Canyon Park. TreePeople plans to engage in strategic partnerships with local, state, and federal agencies that manage public lands in Southern California, including the Santa Monica Mountains, the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, and the four national forests that serve the counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Ventura, and San Diego.
“Boeing’s substantial investment will help TreePeople mobilize and train urban volunteers to restore and protect Southern California’s precious natural resources,” said Andy Lipkis, founder and president, TreePeople. “It seems that we learn something new every day about the urgent challenges arising from climate change, including the stress it brings to our local forests – the forests that provide water and clean air for our cities. But we don’t need to feel powerless in the face of these challenges- we can take action and work together as a community to restore the functions of the forests, and thereby help reduce the harmful effects of past and future wildfires.”
The grant fulfills a pledge Boeing made in the wake of last year’s wildfires to contribute $1 million toward rebuilding efforts in the region. “Boeing chose to partner with TreePeople because of its 35 years of proven experience with forest restoration, urban forestry, and volunteer and community engagement,” said Rick Stephens, Boeing senior vice president, Human Resources and Administration. “The corporate contribution complements the company-matched donations of Boeing employees and retirees to the American Red Cross for immediate relief activities. These totaled more than $702,000, which included a large grant from the Employees Community Fund of Southern California.”
The Employees Community Fund (ECF) of Boeing California has contributed nearly $400,000 over the last 25-plus years to TreePeople. TreePeople is a four-time winner of the ECF of Boeing California’s Crystal Vision Award, presented annually to area nonprofits with exemplary programming and management excellence. And, in 2005, founder Andy Lipkis was named an ECF Community Hero.
“The initiative goes beyond tree planting,” said Lipkis. “We’re focusing on restoring the crucial ecosystem services of key damaged forest areas of Southern California that provide essential quality of life benefits to millions of people. These benefits include clean air, water supply, and flood and pollution protection. TreePeople is committed to helping nature heal itself-and by healing the forests, we provide invaluable benefits for our cities and our fragile coastlines.”
Priorities of the initiative include educating the public to strategically restore forest lands after a fire; expanding environmental education and fire safety programs for students and families; and engaging the community in on-the-ground restoration. Planning will commence this summer with a roll-out of the associated programs in the fall. During a five-year period, the initiative will train and support over 7,500 volunteers to restore over 10,000 strategic acres, targeting forest and woodland areas that have burned so intensely in past fires that they are unlikely to recover on their own. To volunteer, donate or learn more, visit: www.treepeople.org.
PR Newswire- $1 Million Southern California Wildfire Grant Awarded to TreePeople by Boeing