All posts by Tree Musketeers

Make a Difference Day was a success!

For the first time, Tree Musketeers organized a Make a Difference Day event for volunteers of all ages to care for our Trees to the Sea on October 26, 2013. The day included a clean-up competition, games and time for a community picnic! The event was also a NeighborWoods event.

Teams for the clean-up competition were led by:

  • Lily Craig and Team Chevron
  • City Councilmember Marie Fellhauer: Community volunteer team
  • School Boardmember Robin Funk: El Segundo High School Team including Sr. Girl Scout Troop 2505, Key Club, ASB and AVID members
  • Scoutmaster Steve Kigawa and Boy Scout Troup 267 Team
  • Mattel employees and USC Delta Sigma Pi Team led by Frederik Tanuwijoyo

New study shows that fracking kills trees

The New York Times “Green” Blog reports that a new study shows serious impact from fracking on a national forest in West Virginia. “Almost immediately after disposal, the researchers said, nearly all ground plants died. After a few days, tree leaves turned brown, wilted and dropped; 56 percent of about 150 trees eventually died.”

The researchers said that the disposal section was less than half an acre in size “to minimize the area of forest potentially affected by the fluid application.” About 75,000 gallons were applied over two days in June 2008.


You can read more about fracking in the Environment America Research and Policy Center’s Report, available on our Learn – Energy section.

IPCC Report on Global Warming

On September 27, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest Report on Global Warming, confirming humans’ major role in climate change.

IPCC2013Report“Warming in the climate system is unequivocal and since 1950 many changes have been observed throughout the climate system that are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased,” reports the Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC.

This is a new wake-up call (if still needed) for us to reverse global warming. Each of us can have positive impact by modifying the way we live even in small but meaningful ways.

At Tree Musketeers, we capitalize on Trees’ ability to absorb CO2 and we conduct ongoing planting and caring for trees at the local and international levels. You can learn more about that on our volunteer and 3×3 Campaign pages.

We also invite you to Learn more in our different sections about the facts and what you can do to help build a healthier Earth.

Register for our Fall LEAD Classes

Our Summer LEAD Classes were a success and we are back by popular demand! Our Fall session will start September 19th and classes will be every Thursday 4-5:30 pm. In addition we will have three Planting Supervisor 1-day classes.

LEAD (Leadership Education and Action Development) is a formal volunteer opportunity that provides kids with the opportunity to learn skills that will help them succeed as leaders, both in school and later in life. You can visit our LEAD page to register online or learn more about LEAD.

Schedule will be as follows:

Personal Skills: September 19th, September 26th & October 3rd.

People Skills: October 10th, 17th & 24th.

Management Skills: November 7th, 14th & 21st.

Planting Supervisor (one class only on Saturdays 10am-3pm): November 16th, January 18th or February 15th.

We need your help now to grow trees and young leaders!

For the whole month of September, we are participating in a fundraising challenge and need YOU to give the biggest donation you can afford (any amount helps, really) to reach a $5,000 goal.

The money will go to our “Growing trees and young leaders” project: it will provide training in life and professional skills for 50 young people; increase youth engagement to 200 to plant and care for our pollution barrier in South Bay Los Angeles; and provide enriching community service opportunities for 30 at-risk youth. LEADership courses include Personal, People and Management skills, Public Speaking and Tree Planting Supervisor Training.

We only have until September 30th to reach the $5,000 threshold and be able to continue raising support for this important project. Please make a contribution today and share the word with your friends and family!

Successful graduation leads to… a new LEAD session!

Our summer students have graduated with great success and we are now planning a fall LEAD Youth Manager Class series!

LEAD (Leadership Education and Action Development) is a formal volunteer opportunity that provides kids with the opportunity to learn skills that will help them succeed as leaders, both in school and later in life. In the end, the young people will have acquired educational enrichment, self-confidence, team spirit, and the means to make a significant contribution to quality of life and the community.

We will also have two Youth Planting Supervisor training sessions on November 16th at 10 am and January 18th at 10 am.

Participation in the LEADership program is open to all area youth in 5th – 12th grades. The cost of the program is discounted for Partners for the Planet members.

You can download our LEAD Brochure, learn more and sign up for the class on our LEAD page.

You’re invited! LEAD Graduation: August 19th

We are reaching the end of a busy educational summer. Our Youth Manager Series came to an end in July and we’re wrapping up the Public Speaking Class this week. Our students will receive their certificate during an official ceremony at El Segundo’s City Council Chamber on Monday 19th starting at 7 pm.

Catherine Magruder, who teaches the Public Speaking Class will host the party, which will also include a speaking contest. We hope you will attend the ceremony to encourage our young speakers and congratulate all graduates.


Welcome On Board and Fond Farewells!

The Hacienda Hotel hosted our annual Board of Directors and staff retreat in August.  Chad Hummel was elected as a Director and immediately voted to be our new Treasurer.  After serving six years as a Youth Director, Adam Gerard moved into a Director’s seat. Keeping up the family tradition, Talia Gerard became our more recently elected Youth Director.  We will miss Gino Polizzotto who left our Board after 10 years of service.

On the staff front, Ariel Tolefree-Williams joined the team as Volunteer Manager when Eileen Tinoco moved on after three years in that position.  Perrine Vaillant was welcomed on board to ably fill the vacant Outreach Manager position.  Stop in to say hi!

2013, 07-21 Board Retreat group_310x320px

August 10 – Memory Trees Event: Adopt a tree!

Hugging MarcieThis August 10, Tree Musketeers will host its annual Memory Tree Event. Adopt a tree on Memory Row and join us to celebrate the power of trees!

Contribute to improving the local scenery and to creating a healthier planet by adopting a tree. Adopting trees is also great for those who:
• Live in an apartment with no place to own a tree
• Want to give a unique gift to tree-loving friends
• Want to mark a birth, passing, wedding, birthday, or personal accomplishment
• Want to help but don’t know how
• Are too young to handle the tools necessary to plant a tree

Go to our Memory Trees page to learn more and start your adoption process!

Sign Up for Summer LEAD Courses: You Too May Go to Yale!

To go directly to our LEAD Courses page, and enroll, click here.

TREE MUSKETEERS has a rich tradition of sending its youth leaders out into the world via prestigious universities ranging from USC to NYU, Berkeley and Harvard.  The winning college portfolio begins with LEAD courses.  Adam Gerard, a nine-year veteran at the place where kids are boss, is headed to Yale this fall.

With graduation from Mira Costa High School approaching, responses to Adam’s college applications began arriving.  Adam was accepted at 10 prestigious universities offering very generous scholarships.  After much deliberation, he chose Yale.

Adam likes to begin his talks to help others navigate the college admissions process with who he is not.  “I am not an athlete, student body president nor do I play a musical instrument.”   Subscribers to some of the traditional wisdom about what gives kids a leg up with college admissions might view those as fatal errors.

Next Adam tells you who he is.  “I am a good student with decent SAT scores and a supportive family that values education.  Although important, none of that would have bumped me into the 6% admitted to the top tier universities amid a field of some 30,000 applicants for each institution annually.”

So what is Adam’s secret?  It is TREE MUSKETEERS!  Here’s his story.

2006 – Adam accepts the Media Award for Marcie the Marvelous Tree An Autobiography

As a fourth grader, Adam came with a youth group for a TREE MUSKETEERS tree care project.  The girl managing the event inspired him to want to become a youth leader too.  He called TREE MUSKETEERS the next day to see how to get involved.  It was suggested that he continue volunteering on tree care days since he was just nine years old.  When Adam insisted that he wanted to be a leader, the reply was that he would have to wait to be ten, the beginning age for the leadership programs.  After much discussion and Adam’s demand to get started right away building his college resume with community service, he was allowed to enroll in the LEAD courses at TREE MUSKETEERS.

Adam was pretty small for his age and may have looked out of place in a class of mostly teenagers.  It was, however, otherwise immediately apparent that this was the place for him.

He learned qualities and skills leaders need along with organizational strategy and project management in the Youth Manager series of courses.  Adam found his voice in the Public Speaking course.  In the end, he earned Certified Youth Manager and Toastmasters certificates, won the speech contest at graduation and was the youngest person ever elected to the Youth Management Team.  Adam also trained to become a Youth Tree Planting Supervisor.

He was later elected to the board as a Youth Director where he has served six years alongside adults with equal authority.  This year he is serving as President.  Highlights of Adam’s tenure as part of the leadership team at TREE MUSKETEERS begin with completing the Trees to the Sea project to tree-line Imperial Highway.  Others include:
•    trips to Guaymas, MX to mentor our Sister City kids in tree planting and leadership,
•    the launch of our Partners for the Planet 3×3 Campaign aimed at getting three million trees planted by three million kids worldwide.  We are currently at about 1 million trees in 26 states and 13 countries on six continents.
•    creating a native wildlife habitat below Clutter’s Bluff, to name just a few.

Adam and Mira Costa students at the 2012 Manhattan Beach Parade

Adam has had the opportunity to travel to accept prestigious awards, keynote at national conferences and do a speaking tour of schools in South Korea.  He has met with high-level officials and ended up interning for Congresswoman Jane Harman and Assemblymember Ted Lieu.  His advocacy for TREE MUSKETEERS positioned him to be seated on the Manhattan Beach Mayor’s Green Team.

Adam is now busy mentoring the next generation of young executives to take the helm when he goes off to college in the fall.  You can be part of the next generation of young executives that will pursue our mission to empower young people to be environmental leaders.

The summer Youth Manager Certification series runs from 11:00am – 12:30pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday beginning July 1. Youth can choose to participate in one course or all three to earn a Certified Youth Manager certificate.

July 1-3 Personal Skills – teaches the art of personal presentation that is essential to effective leadership. Youth in the Personal Skills course will learn about body language, dressing for success, table manners and more!

July 8-10 People Skills – participants learn how to comfortably meet new people, telephone manners, email etiquette, group dynamics, team building, avoiding and getting out of conflict, and leadership.

July 15-17 Organizational Management – those in the classes will explore the basics of organizational development, project management and study the Tree Musketeers model of a place where kids are boss. Each course consists of three classes.

The eight-week Public Speaking course meets at 2:30-4:30pm on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday August 5-16. Kids who complete this course earn a Toastmasters certificate and the chance to participate in a speech contest at the graduation August 19 at 7:00pm!

Interested in taking one or all of the courses? There’s still room! Learn more and enroll on the LEAD page or call (310)322-0263.