[LA FEATURE]Running Dry

LA FEATURE

Drought-stricken California communities face a third-consecutive dry year with no relief in sight

Environmental Group Has Australian Solution to CA Drought

Trees fight pollution, cool neighborhoods, stop erosion and anchor hillsides, which is why TreePeople is making an effort to ensure trees are protected from the severe California drought.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An environmental group wants to avoid the current drought becoming a health problem and believes the answer can be found in trees. Conan Nolan reports from Studio City for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25, 2014. (Published Monday, Apr 28, 2014)

    A Southern California environmental group is taking a cue from Australia to help prevent drought-related tree deaths.

    "Trees are starting to die. Trees outside of irrigation zones, in the hills, in the parks are already starting to fail and die," TreePeople Director Andy Lipkis said.

    The Los Angeles-based conservation group TreePeople detailed the efforts, which include using street barriers to create temporary irrigation systems and launching a mobile app to connect residents with trees in need of attention, during a forum on the impact of green infrastructure on climate change and heat reduction Tuesday at City Hall.

    Trees fight pollution, cool neighborhoods, stop erosion and anchor hillsides, which is why TreePeople is making an effort to ensure trees are protected from the severe California drought.

    Australia experienced a multi-year drought and implemented certain precautions, such a capturing rainwater runoff.

    "It’s just a huge wasted resource that can be used for all sorts of things," Dr. Nigel Tapper, of Monash University in Australia, said.

    Another Australian idea involves taking hollowed out plastic k-rails, normally used as street barriers, to help irrigate distressed trees. TreePeople are already experimenting with this type of irrigation at Coldwater Canyon Park in Studio City.

    "The rain water that we are using to fill this system is now flowing out this dripline and into the ground around these trees that are suffering," a TreePeople representative said.

    In the next few weeks, TreePeople plans to introduce an app that will help individuals adopt a tree in their neighborhood in need of help. A similar effort was effective in Melbourne and Sydney.

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