WHEN COLIN KHOURY WAS SIX years old, he committed an act of civil disobedience. It was Southern California in the 1980s, and real estate companies were hungry to turn the remaining farms and wilderness bordering Los Angeles into shiny new developments.
Barely out of kindergarten, Khoury was firmly against the developers. His love for landscape was tactile, childlike; he’d comb the sun-drenched earth around his home for wild plants, popping their juicy leaves into his mouth. His mother regularly found herself calling poison control. So when six-year-old Khoury saw a developer’s banner planted on a plot of land overlooking a craggy depression, he chucked the sign right into the canyon. “I was doing my own activism,” he says with a laugh.