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ENVIRONMENT

Details on how to implement these and other Best Management Practices are available in the T.R.E.E.S. Plan book.  To request a copy, contact TreePeople at 818-753-4600.  Visit  their website:  www.treepeople.org/trees

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Andy Lipkis started a nationally renowned organization called TREEPEOPLE to deal with rain in Los Angeles.  Initially, his fame spread because he raised funds to pay disadvantaged City youth to plant thousands of trees, recognizing the benefit of the endeavor to the youth and to the City.  But Andy has taken the project much farther.  He has started an offshoot: T.R.E.E.S. or Transagency Resources for Economic and Environmental Sustainability to encourage interagency planning that proves the enormous economic, environmental and social benefits of coooperative design that makes urban landscapes function as mini-watersheds.

His aim is to create 50,000 jobs, reduce pollution into Santa Monica and San Pedro Bays, reduce water imports by 50%, remove the 100 year flood threat on the L.A. River, improve air quality, and eliminate "greenwaste" thereby reducing landfill content by 30 percent.  And as if by magic, Lipkis has found funds to support his work. What he has done is - for instance - persuade one agency that it will not need to spend $40,000 constructing a storm drain to deal with flooding because by using that money to infiltrate stormwater in decentralized locations, the large control mechanism will not be necessary.

T.R.E.E.S. has created a demonstration site, a redesign of a small family garden. The front and back yards have been reshaped and bermed to hold and infiltrate stormwater. Yard 'waste' is composted and used on site.  There is a double cistern connected to the downspouts to hold a supply of water that will be used to irrigate the garden in dry spells. The cisterns are made with recycled plastic and can double as a flood control device.  In small lots, the cistern can be constructed as a fence two feet wide and buried six feet in the ground. The driveway runoff is cleaned in a reservoir of sand and crushed rock before being released into the stormdrain. The retention grading is capable of handling a ten inch flash flood that could occur during a 100-year storm event. Trees planted on site complete the picture by absorbing stormwater in their leaves and roots and cleaning the air.

Lipkis plans to create jobs by installing these home retrofits all over the City. 

 


 

 

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