Meet a TreePerson: Kalie Ortiz, Community Outreach Coordinator-Southeast Los Angeles
We’re all TreePeople — some of us just happen to work here.
Here’s our latest installment in our Meet a TreePerson series!
Today’s TreePerson is Kalie Ortiz, Southeast Los Angeles Community Organizing Coordinator.
What is your favorite tree? Why?
Coast Redwood (Sequoia Sempervirens). I love the feeling of standing next to a redwood and gazing up, always in awe of how tall this particular organism is and how small I am in comparison. I love its fibrous red bark and how it’s leaflets at the top of the tree look completely different than the leaflets at the bottom of the tree. I love how the canopy of a redwood has its own complex ecosystem that holds so much life and diversity, I could go on and on about Redwoods as you could see!
Where are you from originally? What makes it special?
I’m from Chatsworth in the San Fernando Valley. This place is special because it’s located near LA’s last nature preserve, filled with large coast live oak trees and supports the Chatsworth ecology pond, which is a real gem to the community.
What inspired you to join TreePeople?
TreePeople’s grassroots approach and the heavy involvement with communities and projects of various regions inspired me to join. I truly believe that bringing the community together while benefiting the environment at the same time is where real change happens!
What’s your favorite TreePeople memory?
I’m quite new to the TreePeople family, but during my first Tree Planting volunteer event in Downey it was raining and everyone was still planting trees with huge smiles on their faces (mine included). I was so stoked off that event!
What’s your favorite local outdoor space?
Malibu Creek State Park. I love hiking to Century Lake and sitting down underneath the canopy as I bird watch and wish that the Century Dam would be removed soon. LOL!
If you could have dinner with any person (living or dead) who would it be and why?
Leonardo DiCaprio, he’s my idol and I love how he utilizes his platform to bring forth environmental awareness in the 21st century. I have so many questions for him about his current work and endeavors, I would ask him if he has any upcoming documentaries he might be producing, and he seems like a great storyteller!
What’s your favorite environmental book? Why?
Replenish- The Virtuous Cycle of Water and Prosperity by Sandra Postel. This is my favorite environmental book because it’s easy to follow even if you aren’t science savvy and has great stories within it that make you feel like you’re there with the author. This book is a refreshing narrative on the fate of water in the west, with real experiences and tangible solutions from Sandra Postel, who is also one of my idols.
What’s your most-played song?
“Let it Happen” by Tame Impala
What’s your favorite home-cooked meal?
A simple, yummy angel hair pasta
What’s a fun fact about yourself?
I play the violin!
Los Angeles-based TreePeople is the region’s largest environmental movement, whose mission is to inspire, engage and support people to take personal responsibility for the urban environment. Visit us at treepeople.org and learn how you can join our cause.