Have you ever been curious what a Parks Project volunteer event looks like? Every month, we find a spot local to LA to tackle the work that needs to be done to help restore the parks. Whether that's by cleaning up the trash, restoring habitats, or taking out invasive plants, there is always something on the list of "to-dos". These events last about 3-4 hours and it's an opportunity to not only get outside, but to learn more about how we can continue to leave our parks better than we found them. Take a look through our latest event with Tree People at Coldwater Canyon. Be sure to follow our Instagram stories for opportunities to particapte at these events in the future.


The morning started off with a run-down of the projects we were planning to work on, including cleaning out Tree People's cistern, an underground gutter system that stores rainwater, and going through the proper ways to remove invasive plants. About 100 billion gallons of rainwater go to waste every year, when it could be used for harvesting in systems like this. Their system can store up to 216,000 gallons of rainwater which is then used for park maintenance. In order to maintain the cistern, they have volunteers like us help to clean out the gutters so that the next rainfall offers an easy flow straight into the cistern, directly helping their park! Learn more about the system here


After cleaning out the cistern gutters, we made our way to the hillside where the focal invasive plant of the day resides - the non native mustard. Although having a beautiful green appeal, this plant takes away water from the native plants and trees! It's shocking the amount of work that gets done in just 4 hours. It shows us how much of an impact we can make no matter the size of the group we're working with. 


"I loved that we could remove the plants and leave them there! We didn't need to remove them or put them in the trash, etc., nature just knows what to do.", says Martha Garcia, Parks Projects Senior Director of Brand Marketing. 

That's right! When removing invasive plants - depending on how that plant reproduces - composting the roots may be as simple as creating a pile nearby to dispose of them. This often includes the tarping method. There are several ways to dispose of plants, some of which include burning, bagging, tarping, chipping, drowning, and simply composting. Depending on how the seeds come about helps give direction with the correct way to take care of the waste.


It's all about team effort to get these projects done! Check out Tree People's website for more information on their mission and the work they've done in greening our communities. Stay up to date through our Instagram and Facebook pages to find a volunteer day that might spark your interest, and check out our clean up kits! Bring them out with you on your next adventure. It only takes one of us to begin making a difference, join us in our missions to help take care of these spaces and to leave them better than we found them.

Have you ever been curious what a Parks Project volunteer event looks like? Take a look through our latest event with Tree People at Coldwater Canyon.
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