Trees give us shade, limbs to climb and branches to swing from  – not to mention fresh air to fill  little lungs. While it can feel like we live in an urban jungle, in LA we’re always about 10 minutes from a frolic in a forest. Tree People will help remind you of our abundance of green, and a visit to their Coldwater Canyon Park plants the seeds for budding environmentalists to learn and value the nature of sustainability.KYCC Street Planting by Maria McGinley

High above the city lights of Hollywood, TreePeople’s headquarters are easy to access at the ridgeline of Coldwater Canyon and Mulholland Drive. Pack a snack and hit one of the half-dozen hiking trails within the Park; meandering one of the stroller-friendly paths, like the Magical City Forest Trail, leads to panoramic views of the Valley.

Along the way, tiny trekkers can check out the Yurt Village that serves as the nonprofit’s environmentally friendly offices. Along the Oak Trail, you’ll uncover a 99-seat amphitheater under a natural canopy, where a volunteer Ensemble presents music, plays and special events the summer.

Eco Tour 2The Park’s main attraction is TreePeople’s Center for Community Forestry. Here’s the place kiddos can get their hands dirty, learning about planting trees and water conservation. Little ones will love to explore the entry to the Watershed Garden, through a concrete storm pipe. Once inside, witness a small scale river flowing through a natural landscape to a clean ocean. Models alongside demonstrate how rainwater picks up pollutants that wind up in the ocean and also how trees and naïve plantings can avert these detrimental effects.

Eco TourA hop, skip and a jump away is the Nursery where TreePeople nurtures seedlings, most grown from native seed and acorns collected by volunteers. Kids can lend little hands (with grownup help) to tend to the baby trees.

Eco Tour 2 by Basurto FamilyDon’t forget to bring a picnic and spend the day, eating spots are scattered through the park.  This gorgeous getaway feels like miles from civilization (while merely minutes away from the 101 freeway!)

TreePeople @ Coldwater Canyon Park
located at the intersection of Mullholland Drive, Coldwater & Franklin Canyon
Online: treepeople.org

Check for parking closures due to special events (also, detailed directions and info for public transportation).

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Also, check their website for events, like the monthly Moonlight Hike, where howling at the moon is optional, but encouraged.

– Kim Orchen Cooper

Photos courtesy of TreePeople, Maria McGinley and the Basurto Family.

Have you visited TreePeople?  We’d love to hear about your favorite hiking paths there or what your kids enjoyed learning!