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Scott Wilson, Founder of North East Trees, Dies

Eagle Rock’s foremost green visionary died as the result of a fall, sustained while working on a tree in his garden.

Scott Wilson, a longtime Eagle Rock resident, retired teacher and landscape architect who was instrumental in the greening of large parts of the neighborhood, died Monday morning from a weekend fall sustained while cutting flowers from a tree in the garden of his Olson Street home. He was 89.

Shortly after the incident Saturday, paramedics rushed Wilson to Glendale Adventist Hospital, where he never regained consciousness, said his daughter Christine Richards. He passed away peacefully at the hospital, with his family present by his side, she added.

In 1989 Wilson founded North East Trees, a nonprofit environmental group devoted to planting at least five trees a day for the rest of his life—more than 50,000 so far—as well as ensuring jobs in the green industry for at-risk youth.

North East Trees also playeda vital roll at Garvanza Park in Highland Park, which will aid in stormwater treatmentand prevent polution.

A keen mentor, Wilson was a constant—and ever-cheerful—organizer of tree planting drives in Eagle Rock and beyond. Among the numerous trees he is credited with planting is a string of oaks about 30 years old in Occidental College that are scheduled to be cut down to make way for a state-of-the-art solar array project on the campus.

Some 20 years ago, Wilson also planted many of the trees that line Townsend Avenue today.

“Everybody knew my dad and everybody has a story about him,” said Richards. “He has positively impacted so many people's lives and will be dearly missed.”

A tribute to Wilson, a celebration of his life, is planned from 2-5 p.m., Sunday, November 27, at the on Hermosa Avenue.

Reies Flores November 09, 2011 at 09:10 PM
This is very sad news indeed. Thanks so much to Mr. Singh and Mr. Fonseca for posting this. I didn't know him personally but have worked with Northeast Trees in the past and they're simply a great organization. It's good to know that he died peacefully with his loved ones surrounding him and somewhat fitting that he was working on trees even until the end. What a wonderful man. Our little corner of the world is so much greener and better because of you. Thank you very much, Scott Wilson.
Mark Reback November 09, 2011 at 09:27 PM
R.I.P. Mr. Wilson... You were a force for goodness and nature in our city and the world. Glad I had a chance to meet you and work along side you.
Susan Kromka November 10, 2011 at 07:04 PM
I first met Scott WIlson after reading about him in the Eagle Rock Sentinal (it was probably 1990). He was looking for people to volunteer to plant trees behind Eagle Rock High School and Oxy. It wasn't long after that that he asked me to be on the board of North East Trees. Scott was a difficult person to turn down. He was tenacious, charming, a total optimist, and no project was too large or too difficult when it involved trees, youth, or both. Those who knew him well had a great friend who did everything he could to make Northeast Los Angeles a nicer, greener place to live.

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