What made a barkeep spend 738 days of her life on a redwood tree, a real-life story of a common girl Julia Hills who was as simple and ambitious as any other girl before a crossroad in her life which earned her a degree of environmental credibility which few people alive today can match.
Julia’s father was a traveling evangelical minister, therefore, she traveled through the whole country in a 32-foot camper along with her mother and two brothers. This made her spend early childhood in woodlands and river shores but this environmental interaction is nowhere involved in her tree sitting. For Julia and her brother’s higher studies her family settled in Arkansas then, later on, she worked in few bar and restaurant around Fayetteville but as faith would have it, in 1992 when she was just 22 years old she met a life-threatening car accident and the steering wheel penetrated deep inside of her skull, to retrieve from those injuries she took around one year for doing proper daily routine and during this phase she introspected herself and she credits this horrific accident with helping her find her way in life: “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 with 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.”
In 1997, while on a road trip to California Julia got impressed with the long-standing beauty of redwood trees enriched with “wisdom, energy and spirituality”, which steered her life totally. She came in contact with a tree sitting group who were fighting with lumber company for destroying redwood trees forest. Among all trees Luna (redwood tree) was the oldest 1500 yrs old initially nobody was not volunteering for sitting on Luna for 6 days then Julia volunteered and climbed on Luna for 6 days initially then in December 1997 she climbed again but for 2 months this time later on she decided she will stay with Luna till that lumber company will step back. she lived 180 feet above the ground, living on a pair of six-by-six-foot platforms, she faced battled illness, harassment from helicopters, freezing temperatures, a siege by security guards hired by Pacific Lumber, torrential rains and fierce winds from an El Niño winter, and other privations. For keeping her meal warm she was using a small propane stove and used a sleeping bag for keeping herself warm day and night. Her bravery didn’t stay hidden for longer international media started highlighting her tree-sitting and courage which brought him eco-celebrity status. She was communicating with reporters and others with a solar-powered cell phone and appeared on cable television shows as an “in-tree” correspondent. All this media attention was bringing bad publicity to Pacific lumber company and then they agreed upon resolution for the preservation of a 200-foot buffer zone around Luna and other old-grown redwood trees. During this fight, Julia and her organization had collected a $50,000 amount of donation which they gave it to lumber company as a matter of resolution which was later on company donated to California’s Humboldt State University for sustainable forestry research. Only then, in December of 1999, did Hill come down from Luna.