Los Angeles, CA (December 9, 2008)- Today, Andy Lipkis, President of TreePeople (an ACT member), was inducted as a North American Ashoka Fellow. In addition to the great work that Andy and TreePeople do, this is a big deal because it is the first time that Ashoka has selected anyone involved in urban forestry.
Ashoka Fellows are “women and men with new, system-changing solutions to the world’s most urgent social problems. They are elected for a lifetime to a dynamic and rapidly expanding global peer network. Since its founding in 1980, Ashoka has inducted over 2,000 Fellows in more than 60 countries. Three hundred of these Fellows live and work in North America. Ashoka builds communities of social entrepreneurs who mobilize others to transform society. Together they achieve profound large-scale advancements in education, health, human rights, the environment, economic development, and civic engagement.”
The project for which Andy is receiving this Fellowship is titled, TreePeople and Functioning Community Forests.
Andy Lipkis started TreePeople at the age of fifteen after a life-changing summer camp experience replenishing a forest that was dying from pollution. He brought his environmental passion home to Los Angeles, galvanizing teens and neighborhood groups to not only plant trees, but to become citizen foresters, taking responsibility for the forests they plant and helping them to thrive. The TreePeople movement has spread worldwide, and now Andy is focused on Functioning Community Forests (FCF).
By taking a holistic approach to managing urban ecosystems, FCF is helping to retrofit cities for sustainability. Citizens, policymakers, public agencies and community organizations all play a role in transforming cities into generators of health, resiliency and abundance. By integrating urban forestry and watershed management, and treating cities as forests that work in concert with nature’s cycles, FCF focuses on healing the environment in practical ways. Andy’s mission is to help individuals, families and institutions see that how we deal with water, waste, energy and spending have consequences on our economy, the crime rate, social development and our quality of life. FCF is helping to create livable green communities, as well as thousands of skilled green-collar jobs for the under-employed that will have lasting economic impact.
Andy Lipkis Named Ashoka Fellow
2008 North American Ashoka Fellows