What's Your Tree Background

What’s Your Tree is a program inspired by the story and message of Julia Butterfly Hill.

Julia Butterfly Hill gained international notoriety when she climbed 200 feet up into an ancient redwood tree named Luna that was slated to be cut down by Pacific Lumber/Maxaam Corporation. She refused to come down until Luna was permanently protected. Withstanding death threats and gale force El Nino winds, Julia lived on a tiny platform in Luna's branches for 738 days. Julia and her team had successfully negotiated to save Luna and a 3 acre buffer zone around the tree into perpetuity.

Julia's brave and inspiring action brought international attention to the plight of our dwindling ancient redwoods. For many years after she returned to the ground, Julia toured the world speaking abour her experience in the media and to audiences large and small and about the many lessons she learned.

One of the primary lessons Julia speaks about is the disease of "celebretitis," when we look to celebrities or other public figures as all-knowing and all-important. Julia's primary message all along has been to take the spotlight that has shined on her for many years, and turn it back to each one of us. We are all Julia Butterflys, Gandhis, Martin Luther Kings, Mother Theresas. We all have the potential and power to become great leaders, to serve with our hearts, and to change the world.

The What's Your Tree program uses this message and folds it into a 7 week curriculum for small groups. It uses the writings and message of Julia Butterfly Hill as a way to find our own inner calling that is more powerful than we know ourselves to be. This is what we call "finding your tree."

What's Your Tree was developed out of a year-long inquiry sparked by a major motion picture based on Julia's story. This film, LUNA, is scheduled to start shooting in 2008. The possibility of a major media event like a film had us ask "What is it that takes someone from inspiration into action over the long haul?" When someone is inspired by a film, what would keep them involved and active in the world? The answer to that question became the foundation for the Engage Network, a new nonprofit organization that Julia's team birthed. (See below for details about the Engage Network.)

What's Your Tree was developed for people who are inspired by Julia’s story. It provides a way for people to “find their own tree” and build small groups and social networks in their community at the same time. When the LUNA film is released widely, we are using What's Your Tree as a way to allow inspired movie viewers to take steps towards long term engagement in their communities and in the world.

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