Category Archives: Uncategorized

Arbor Day is on its way!

What is Arbor Day? Arbor Day is a day to celebrate, plant and care for trees. Arbor Day is Tree Musketeers’ largest annual event, with hundreds of volunteers participating.

When is Arbor Day? We will next celebrate Arbor Day on March 11, 2017.  In California, Arbor Week is observed in March. National Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April, but most states however plan it to coincide with optimal planting season. To know where your state celebrates Arbor Day, visit this interactive map.

AD TShirt PhotoWhat can you do?

Volunteer! Use the form below to sign up to volunteer with us on Arbor Day.

Sponsor a tree! Sponsor the planting of new trees or care for years to come. A donation as small as $7 for children and $12 for adults will get you the official Arbor Day T-Shirt! Check out individual sponsorship levels here.

Sponsor the event! Sponsorship packages are available for $600 to $12,000. How much impact will you have? Become a sponsor here.

Be a Leader!  All volunteer teams will work under the direction of trained Youth Planting Supervisors who are supported by Adult Partners. More are needed, so if you are a trained YPS or APT sign up ASAP by emailing!

Arbor Day is all about giving back to the community and its trees – it cannot happen without you! We promise you a day of fun, hope and greening the community.

Please email to see whether we can accommodate your volunteers.

Youth Planting Supervisors: The New Class

Our Youth Planting Supervisor training on Saturday November, 5th was a great success!

We had 8 new Youth Planting Supervisor (YPS) trainees participating in both our classroom and field portions. In the morning our Executive Director Gail Church taught the classroom portion about how youth can effectively lead volunteers of all ages and how to plant trees to ISA specifications.

2016-11-5-yps-trainees-release-stella-the-tree-from-her-pot-cropped  2016-11-5-president-fernando-oversees-yps-trainees-in-planting-1000

In the afternoon, our Youth Manager and President of the organization Fernando led the planting portion. The 8 trainees put theory into practice, successfully planting Stella, a Pink Trumpet Tree.

2016-11-5-yps-trainees-join-hands-to-welcome-stella-the-tree-1000And finally the YPS trainees joined hands for the 3×3 Pledge which states they will do all they can to protect the tree so that it grows to give the community all the great environmental services that trees provide. These YPS trainees did an amazing job! Alison, Victor, NK, Paloma, Kate, Noah J, Noah S, Isaac, and all the rest of us here at Tʀᴇᴇ Mᴜsᴋᴇᴛᴇᴇʀs hope that Stella will bring joy to our hometown of El Segundo.

If you are between ages 10 and 17 and want to lead volunteer events with Tʀᴇᴇ Mᴜsᴋᴇᴛᴇᴇʀs, sign up for our next YPS training on January 21st, 2017!

All trained YPS will be group leaders during our 30th Arbor Day Celebration, so join us today!

Have questions? Email volunteers@TʀᴇᴇMᴜsᴋᴇᴛᴇᴇʀ or give us a call at 310-322-0263!


The Endangered Pollinators

By Fernando Aguilar and Lucas Glastetter

Pollinators are very important to the survival of humans and other species around the globe. Most people think that only bees pollinate, moving pollen between plants or trees to fertilize them. However, pollinators also include ants, wasps, beetles, butterflies and even some reptiles, birds and bats. Unfortunately, our most familiar pollinator, the bumble bee, is in decline.

Why they are important: Between 80% and 90% of all the world’s crops require pollination from one animal or another and over 100 of those crops are grown in the United States alone. Their contribution is responsible for an estimated $20 billion dollars of the US economy. You might be interested to know that not all pollinators are native. A large percentage of the bee population in the US is managed by bee keepers in order to help pollinate local crops. However, when bee populations get low we require the help of native, ‘wild’ or ‘un-managed’ bees to pick up the slack to create our food supply and keep the entire ecosystem healthy.

What is the problem: Bees are in decline all over the world at a rate of about 30% each year, mostly due to human activity.

Why they are going extinct: Much of the bee decline is due to pesticide spraying. These insecticides are called neonicotinoids and can kill billions of bees at one time. Other negative outside factors can cause Colony Collapse Disorder. Invasive parasites or beetles and disappearing native habitat are also contributing factors.

How we can help:

  1. Do not use pesticides or insecticides to treat your yard or garden. These are harmful for bees and can be harmful to humans as well.
  2. Buy local organic produce and honey. This helps support fruit, vegetable and honey producers in your area.
  3. If you have a garden register your space in the Pollinator’s Partnership database to help grow the community of people protecting bee habitat.


Want more of The Endangered? Check out the growing list of articles on our Wildlife page.


Pollinator Partnership
Native Pollinators in Agriculture Project
US Fish & Wildlife Service

Congratultions to Our Summer 2016 LEAD Course Graduates!

On August 15th, our Summer LEAD (Leadership Education and Action Development) Courses came to a close and we celebrated with staff, family, friends and Youth Management Alumni at the El Segundo City Council Chambers.

Our President, 16-year-old Fernando Aguilar, was the event’s Toastmaster, and short speeches were given by previous LEAD Graduates including Youth Management Team Alum and Advisory Directors Blake Parker, Julian Poyourow and Adam Gerard.

The Speech Contest included the 2-4 minutes speeches by the following LEAD students:

Paloma Arellano
Victor Ayaay
Sebastian Hanson
Alyssa Sanders
Kate Santos
Sasha Sewell
Siam Sewell
NK Soon
Alison Stosser
Kaylynn Taylor

A big thank you to City Council & City Hall for allowing us to use the facility, to the El Segundo community for your continued support and to our Executive Director Gail Church and Advisory Director and Public Speaking instructor Catherine Magruder for teaching our summer courses.

Congratulations, LEAD Graduates!


Another Memory Tree Adoption Ceremony in the Books!

On August 20th, we held our Annual Memory Tree Adoption. We welcomed Wpromote, Jean Chandler, and Nora Gornov as our newest Memory Tree Guardians. We also helped celebrate their loved ones and events as part of the adoption ceremony, and showed them how to care for their new tree friends to help them thrive long into the future.

The tree planting season is just around the corner so if you are interested in planting or adopting a Memory Tree in honor of your loved one or event, please reserve your slot for our first planting of the season on November 19th. Email us at for more info or visit our Memory Tree planting page here.

You’re Invited! LEAD Graduation: August 15th

We are reaching the conclusion of a busy and educational summer. Our Youth Management Series ended in July and the Public Speaking Class ended just last week. Our students will receive their certificate during an official ceremony at El Segundo’s City Council Chamber on Monday, August 15th starting at 7 pm.

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


Youth Manager becomes Alcoa Scholar

Fernando and Gail at city council
Gail Church, Tree Musketeers Executive Director and Fernando Aguilar, Youth Manager at El Segundo City Council Meeting

In 2012, Fernando Aguilar came to El Segundo looking for an opportunity to be a leader in the South Bay Community. He came across Tree Musketeers, and after seeing that young people were in leadership positions here, implementing environmental programs, he decided he wanted to get involved. After volunteering at a few tree care events Fernando discovered our LEAD Courses (Leadership Education and Action Development) – including the Youth Manager Series, Public Speaking and Youth Planting Supervisor classes – and enrolled.

During the LEAD Courses Fernando learned people, personal and management skills. He then participated in the Public Speaking class, taught by Toastmaster International member and long time Tree Musketeers Adult Partner Catherine Magruder. He even delivered an inspiring speech on the loss of gorilla habitat in the wild and what we can do to help during the Annual LEAD Graduation Ceremony.

“Tree Musketeers’ LEAD courses gave me the confidence to speak to people about anything, whether it be politics or business. To give a speech in front of City Council is a feeling that will really stick with you.”

It turns out that Fernando has had quite the busy schedule during his time with us. He has been involved in Kiwin’s since 2008 and Boy Scouts since he was 13-years-old. Once he completed his LEAD courses, he was invited to join our Youth Management Team in Fall of 2014 and is now in charge of running the day-to-day activities of the organization along with five other Youth Managers.

“Being a Youth Manager has given me a chance to lead people, big, small and of all ages,” he adds.

Last year Fernando decided to apply to be an Alcoa Scholar at NatureBridge, a program that fosters within it’s participants a sense of place, interconnections and stewardship in nature. We were ecstatic to learn that out of thousands of applicants, Fernando was one of only a hundred accepted Scholars for the Summer 2016 Program. He spent the majority of his time in the program in Shenandoah National Park and below are a couple moments from his trip.

Group Photo - before hiking
Alcoa Scholars Summer 2016, ready for a hike!
with Lincoln
Lincoln Memorial
just beautiful
A stream in Shenandoah National Park
Fernando & classmate give water quality presentation
A waterfall retreat!


LEAD Courses have commenced for the summer and we are looking forward to seeing what future graduates will accomplish. Want to attend our LEAD speech contest and graduation on August 15th? Check out our calendar for more info.

Earth Day 2016 is coming up!

We are holding an Earth Day Event to give care to our Trees to the Sea. Join the Community Clean Up on Saturday, April 23rd, 2016!

Volunteers, both tall and small, are invited to participate. Want to lead a group? We would love to have you as one of our team leaders!

Want to dig in with us? Register here.

A Look Back at Arbor Day 2016!

On March 5th, 2016 the City of El Segundo and Tree Musketeers held their 29th Annual Arbor Day Celebration! Tall and Small volunteers came out to plant over 70 new trees, which replaced large areas of the invasive plant acacia, and to care for Trees to the Sea along Imperial Highway. The tree planting and care were followed up by lunch provided by Chevron, our Presenting Sponsor. We also had beverages and desert provided by other local businesses and a silent auction, raising funds to keep programs like Arbor Day and our Summer Leadership Courses up and running.

During our closing ceremony speeches were made by our co-founder Tara Church, Arbor Day Task Force Member Eric Busch and Scott Houston of West Basin.

Take a look at the great work our volunteers accomplished!