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An Opportune Moment

January 18, 2012


People have differing opinions on whether the Occupy LA protestors accomplished their goals during their months-long encampment at LA’s City Hall. What is indisputable is the fact that the grounds surrounding City Hall were trashed by them … leaving barren devastation in place of verdant lawn. The photo above was taken this morning; contrast it with the following photo taken in mid-October:

In the beginning

At this point the tents had been up a week, well before the ultimate boom in protestor population that would take over every square foot of ground with all manner of tent and shelter. Eventually bad weather and overcrowding ensured the worse conditions for the lawn’s survival as the protest dragged on …

Sad result

Once the protestors were forced to leave, the full scope of their effect on the grounds was clear: the lawn was no more, and talk of restoration began. This was followed by calls for the lawn to be downplayed, if not done away with; native and low-water needs plants were cited as much better replacements for drought-ignorant turf … While it seemed like it took the powers-that-be forever to decide, I’m happy to report that three City Hall landscape plans have been released publicly by the Department of Recreation and Parks. One restores the lawn, but two of them do away with it — one by more than half and one by more than 80 percent! I think this is real progress, not to mention a great opportunity for city leaders to lead by example and show homeowners how to be water-wise.

Below are links to the three restoration options on the table, with their degree of turf reduction. A report in The Times today noted that Plan No. 2 was most-favored … I’m a Plan 3 guy myself, but if we have to settle for Plan 2 so be it. Either one would be a game changer … have a look:

OPTION 1, with a 25% turf reduction

OPTION 2, with a 58% turf reduction

OPTION 3, with an 80% reduction

Click here for the official website for the restoration, including other information and a comments box. Weigh-in on the plan you think will be best for Los Angeles … Changing the grounds surrounding City Hall to a water-wise landscape might just be the Occupy protests’ true positive legacy.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. January 18, 2012 10:40 am

    There is nothing sad about lawns being trashed. Especially lawns in Southern California.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      January 18, 2012 1:15 pm

      True. What I was referring to as ‘sad’ was the resulting look of City Hall once the protesters had gone. I have to see it every day and it really does give me a case of the sads. Just as the weed-choked succulent landscape at the LAPD HQ across the street used to, although they’ve mostly gotten their act together now.

  2. January 18, 2012 4:00 pm

    This is a great example of turning around a negative (the trashed land, not the Occupy movement) and making it a positive. I’m pretty sure the park blocks that were home to our Occupy Portland folks are still closed, blocked by similar fencing. It really is a sad side-effect of the Occupy protests everywhere, that they left the civic space they occupied a trashed mess.

  3. January 19, 2012 5:43 pm

    I hope they go with choice 3!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      January 19, 2012 6:21 pm

      So do I, but so far Plan 2’s the one: sigh.

  4. MICHELLE LEDESMA permalink
    January 19, 2012 11:11 pm


    • reubix1 permalink*
      January 19, 2012 11:20 pm

      Great, I hope you left a comment for the city saying so; thanks for commenting, Michelle

  5. January 20, 2012 8:16 pm

    Interesting – only because it is a public park, could I justify any turf. But could it be some Calif-native sedge ala John Greenlee, instead of Zoysia or Fescue? I think most or all of the left and right triangles as sedge or turf, perhaps an axial strip of the same from street towards steps. And the balance all So Cal natives, used formally and semi-formally. Nice to see this post.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      January 20, 2012 8:19 pm

      All great points; great ideas, it’ll be very interesting to see how it all shakes out. Thanks for commenting!

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