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.”
Photo from Julia’s website