The January 2017 guest speaker symposium introduced environmentalist Andy Lipkis of Treepeople.org to the students of Laurel Springs School.
Andy has been planting trees to rehabilitate smog- and fire-damaged Los Angeles area forests since he was 15 years old. He founded the organization TreePeople not long after, at the young age of 18, and has served as its president since 1973.
Today, TreePeople is a worldwide beacon for climate resilience.
Andy’s presentation focused how he transitioned his passion for the environment into an organization engaging millions. He also spoke on his experience replanting forests and transforming the city of Los Angeles so that it functions like a forest as well as ways to adapt the city to protect its people from climate change, helping citizens transform from “consumers” to “regenerators.”
Andy has spoken on environmental topics to groups as varied as the United Nations, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Australian National Science Foundation and the American Society of Civil Engineers.
He and his wife and colleague Kate Lipkis have received copious honors relating to their work. They were named to the U.N. Environmental Programme’s Global 500 Roll of Honour; they earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from American Forests; and president George H.W. Bush named TreePeople the 440th Point of Light in 1991. In 2007, Andy was named a Durfee Fellow and in 2009, an Ashoka Fellow.