Yesterday Kelly blogged about the appalling landscaping in front of an Los Angeles Department of Water and Power facility. When Kelly first showed me the photo of that purple gravel and artificial turf I thought it might be some kind of conceptual art project.
Unfortunately, this poor attempt at a drought tolerant landscape is just another example of an attitude of indifference towards public space that’s all too prevalent in Los Angeles and many other cities. Sahra Sulaiman at LA Streetsblog has done a great job covering the many ways this indifference manifests in big piles of trash on LA’s sidewalks and horrible conditions for bus commuters.
This indifference is also apparent in the lackluster landscaping of most of our public spaces. This egregious LADWP “garden” is the last straw for me. It’s time we do something about it.
Two California based organizations come to mind: Daily Acts in Petaluma and the Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano. Daily Acts has landscaped public spaces such as libraries and schools as well as private homes. These gardens provide an example that others can follow. The Ecology Center has a spectacular garden that shows do simple water harvesting to create a beautiful landscape with drought tolerant plants that attracts beneficial wildlife.
We need similar organizations in Los Angeles. We have an immense pool of talent here that could fix that terrible purple gravel and artificial turf atrocity and go on to do so much more. Who’s in?
And to those of you reading this elsewhere in the word, feel free to leave a comment about how you changed your public space for the better.