After the devastation of the Thomas Fire we are all painfully aware of the beauty and vulnerability of nature. The rugged beauty of our Valley has been created by the interaction of intricately complicated forces. Although this recent fire is beyond anything we've seen in our lifetime, fire is a "natural event" in nature and "a disaster" only in human terms. Climate experts have been warning about repeated cycles of drought, heat and fire coming in our future. Looks like that future is now. No matter how we feel about global climate change, it is coming.
Musing on how to move forward I found it somehow fitting that the name of this fire was shared by one of my environmental heroes Thomas Bostrom, a highly respected arborist and landscaper. Like the experts he knew what was coming; Thomas thought globally and acted locally. He founded
OjaiTrees to ensure the livability and beauty of Ojai. Ojai Trees' mission was to leave a legacy of a healthy Ojai tree canopy to protect us all. He knew healthy trees could lower temperatures, conserve water and clean the air but he also knew we needed to give them a fighting chance. Thomas brought like-minded individuals together under our nonprofit organization. It is because of his forethought and the perseverance that Ojai has a tree ordinance, a volunteer City Tree Comitee, and Ojai has attained the status of a Tree City.
Thomas's body departed Ojai a few short years ago but his spirit still guides our work.
There is no more perfect time to plant a tree, volunteer or donate to Ojai Trees.
"We are a local Ojai Valley community forestry group that welcomes all kinds of people who want to do something tangible to help the environment. Our vision is a healthy Ojai Valley community forest that is sustainable for future generations. Our goal is to inspire people to take personal responsibility for the community forest by participating with us"---Thomas Bostrom