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Xos Teams Up with TreePeople for Mountain Restoration Day

Xos Teams Up with TreePeople for Mountain Restoration Day

Beyond electrifying fleets, Xos is committed to finding opportunities to address our carbon footprint and the health of our local communities. We believe in doing more than just paying lip service to sustainability. In fact, the Xos Los Angeles office is home to an active community of passionate sustainability advocates, known by their Slack channel name, the Polar Bears (#savethepolarbears).

Recently, some of the Xos Team got their hands dirty helping a local environmental nonprofit, TreePeople, restore an area devastated by the 2018 Woolsey Fire, which burned almost 100,000 acres of land in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA).

Xos volunteers made their way to the hilly landscape of Paramount Ranch, a site of historical importance to the film industry dating back to 1927, to nurture saplings recently planted in an area decimated by the 2018 blaze.

Watering saplings.

A Closer Look at TreePeople

TreePeople is an environmental nonprofit and advocacy group operating within the greater Los Angeles area. Although the group plants and cares for trees as their name suggests, the nonprofit also promotes responsible watershed management, encourages sustainable infrastructure to address urban water problems, and provides volunteer opportunities for community members to get involved with land restoration. More than three million volunteers have chipped in to plant over three million trees over the TreePeople’s 40-year history.

The group’s approach to conservation and sustainability mirrors Xos’ mission to support community health through fleet electrification.

How Nurturing Saplings and Replanting Help the Environment Recover from Wildfires

When severe fires burn an area, land can take decades to recover, if not longer. If mountains or hillsides burn, they become vulnerable to wash-outs, mudslides, and erosion, which can negatively impact downstream water quality. Moreover, burned areas also reduce the habitat area for local wildlife.

Xos isn’t afraid to get a little dirty in the name of helping some saplings thrive under trying conditions.

Primary benefits of replanting trees and nurturing saplings include:

  • Helping land recover from wildfires
  • Reducing soil erosion
  • Protecting water quality
  • Reducing carbon emissions

Replanted young trees require extra care and nurturing to survive. The Xos team watered and tended to juvenile trees planted earlier in the year to help TreePeople reach the 80% success rate necessary for each planting season. These small trees can fit in your hands, but require two large buckets of water biweekly to thrive. Aside from watering the trees, the Xos team also weeded out invasive species from around the saplings and built up brush around them to provide shade.

Since it’s impossible to restore every acre of land after a wildfire, planting and caring for young trees also provides an essential benefit to future generations. When those planted trees mature, they act as a seed source to generate additional trees, thereby renewing the landscape.

Fire is a natural part of the ecosystem, but biodiversity can be negatively affected when fires burn out of control or too frequently. This creates a domino effect that increases the chance of future wildfires. If a given plot of land burns more than once in 20 years, invasive species of plant life (like non-native grasses) can quickly dominate an area, crowding out the ability for local plant life to fully regenerate.

The Xos Team at Mountain Restoration Day.

Sustainability in Everything We Do

2018 saw hundreds of thousands of acres burn, but wildfires continue to be a recurring issue driven by climate change. Widespread drought conditions, warmer temperatures, and prolonged fire seasons mean that wildfires are a long-term threat. According to CAL FIRE, in 2020 alone, over 4.2 million acres of land were burned due to wildfires in California.

Commercial vehicles are responsible for a large volume of emissions, but fleet electrification can significantly reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. At Xos, we recognize the importance of addressing climate change, and we’re determined to be part of a solution. Caring for trees and electrifying fleets won’t solve all the problems we face, but they’re critical actions contributing to a positive momentum.

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