Meet Julia Butterfly Hill

A new series of ‘Meet….’ articles focussing on a diverse range of individuals, who are all currently working in their own way to try and make a positive difference in the world.

Julia Butterfly Hill is an environmental champion and activist. She became what many people would describe as an ‘eco-warrior’, after re-evaluating her life following a near fatal car accident in which pieces of steering wheel entered her skull.

Julia spent over two years living 180 feet off the ground, in the branches of a 1500 year old Californian Giant Redwood Tree, called Luna. The tree was to be felled by the Pacific Lumber Company, but eventually after two years of Julia’s ‘tree-occupation’ they agreed to leave the tree unfelled, as well as a surrounding 200m buffer zone.

Julia wrote about her time living in the tree, in her book The Legacy of Luna, which is currently being adapted into a film. She continues to champion various environmental and social justice causes, works as a motivational speaker and has helped found the What’s Your Tree Project and the Engage Network, which helps various activist organisations maximise their impact. She also blogs regularly, and maintains a public Facebook page.

“The steering wheel in my head, both figuratively and literally, steered me in a new direction in my life … As I recovered, I realized that my whole life had been out of balance … I had been obsessed by my career, success and material things. The crash woke me up to the importance of the moment, and doing whatever I could to make a positive impact on the future.”


Similar articles – Meet Shane Claiborne, Meet Ellen McArthurMeet Dale VinceMeet Jessica JackleyMeet KT Tunstall, Meet Toby Ord 

Photo from Julia’s website


  1. Gareth Richards says:

    She is the Lorax, she speaks for the trees.

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