Kyle Lemle is a community forester, with experience working for international and grassroots NGOs on participatory natural resource management projects across the Himalayas, Southeast Asia, and California. Working with forest communities around the world, he has witnessed the power of tree planting to build ecological resilience while preserving culture.
Kyle is an inaugural recipient of the Spiritual Ecology Fellowship, through which he is working with leading practitioners from South Dakota to Northern India to empower diverse moral imperatives for conservation. In partnership with another SE Fellow, Brontë Velez, he co-designed and launched the project LeadtoLife.org which is transforming guns into shovels to use in ceremonial tree plantings at sites of violence and sacred sites across Oakland and Atlanta.
Kyle is also a recipient of the Princeton in Asia Fellowship to conduct research with RECOFTC – the Center for People and Forests on community forestry and climate change adaptation across Southeast Asia. After returning to the USA, he served as Community Project Manager with Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF), where he organized and implemented 30 neighborhood-level greening campaigns and the planting of over 2000 trees across the streets of San Francisco.
When he is not planting trees, Kyle serves as founder and co-director of the Choir for ThriveEastBay.org, where he is writing and performing original gospel-for-social-change music in a growing, purpose-driven community-based in Oakland. He is a former resident of Green Gulch Farm, and continues to draw inspiration and energy from his practice in the Soto Zen tradition.