|Image from Los Angeles Times. All Rights Reserved.|
Sad news for the entire landscape of Los Angeles today as Scott Wilson, the founder of North East Trees died suddenly. His impact was felt in his beloved neighborhood of Eagle Rock and throughout Los Angeles. From the EagleRockPatch:
Scott Wilson, a longtime Eagle Rock resident, retired Eagle Rock High School teacher and landscape architect who was instrumental in the greening of large parts of the neighborhood, died Monday morning after a fatal fall sustained while cutting flowers from a tree in the garden of his Olson Street home. He was 89.
In 1989 Wilson founded North East Trees, a nonprofit environmental group devoted to planting at least five trees a day for the rest of his life—more than 50,000 so far—as well as ensuring jobs in the green industry for at-risk youth. He was trimming flowers on a tree in his Eagle Rock home for the altar of his Pasadena-based Unitarian church when he fell to the ground on Saturday, his daughter Catherine Richards said.
For more information about North East Trees, visit their website, and read a nice profile about their quiet, prolonged impact on Los Angeles from this past July by Emily Green at the Los Angeles Times:
Unless you are active in the field of urban greening, you probably haven’t heard of North East Trees. Unlike the better known TreePeople, North East Trees has not seen its founder land on "The Tonight Show."
Rather, the nonprofit that Scott Wilson started in 1989 by planting 700 oaks at Occidental College in Los Angeles' community of Eagle Rock has quietly been planting many more trees (50,000 at last count), working with low-income communities to create parks, and partnering with city and county agencies on water-harvesting projects. North East Trees has been at the cutting edge of L.A.’s ecological makeover.
As Wilson sees it, what sets North East Trees apart is that he was a landscape architect when the group started. He built a staff of foresters, designers and educators with the goal of strategic greening, going far beyond planting a tree streetside and hoping that it lived.
“It’s not about how many trees you plant,” said Wilson, right, during a brief meeting last week in the courtyard of the Department of Public Works in Alhambra (more on that later). “It’s about the right tree in the right place and about how many of those trees live.”