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History in the Making

By: Manny Gomez

The true definition of hard work was introduced to me by my father who till this day has his own business in landscaping. As soon as I turned 6, every summer and weekends he would take me to The Santa Monica Mountains, where he had a client who owned a ranch in Malibu. The second I stepped foot on that ranch, I felt like the character Max from, Where the Wild Things Are. I was amazed by the peacocks, and the numerous trails that this land had. It expanded my imagination in ways that I can now say is a part of my life. My father had a crew of about 10-12 men who did fuel mod on this land which was roughly 8 1/2 acres. After witnessing their strategies, I soon became a part of their team.

In 2009 my older brother started working at Mountains Restoration Trust. At that time, I was working at a landscaping company. One day I asked him, “what is it that you do exactly?”, and as he was explaining it to me, I realized how interested I was on the topic, not only because the way he described it but it reminded me of how I fell in love with nature in the first place. Soon after that I took a chance and started volunteering by going with him to help weed whack certain sites. Shortly after that, MRT offered me a job. I started in 2010 and haven’t turned my back since.

I’ll never forget the first time I walked into the Masson House it was extremely scary, but then as I was walking through the kitchen and the living room my fears became into questions as I saw the historic pictures hanging on the walls, they caught my attention because I was drawn to every facial expression I saw on all of the pictures. All of the faces were serious and showed that they all had unique stories to tell. At that moment, I knew that MRT was more than just learning about plants. There was so much history and knowledge that came with this opportunity that I couldn’t wait to discover more about. This will be my 9th year at MRT, and you can consider me as one of those people who love what they do for a living