Ocean Friendly Gardens, GAP
December 16 2011

Making LA City Hall Lawn Ocean Friendly:  Occupations for Occupiers

LA Times writer, Emily Green, has written a blog post today about re-doing the landscape at LA City Hall that supports both the Ocean Friendly Gardens principles of CPR - Conservation, Permeability and Retention - and hands-on trainning components through building demonstration gardens:

"Long-term solutions include smarter landscaping with better adapted plants; improved permeability for rain, so it's absorbed into the soil; and capture and use of local rainfall instead of flushing it into the streets and storm drains....the most important thing to fund are model gardens demonstrating the best way to re-plant and re-landscape."

She didn't know that Surfrider-LA Chapter submitted a letter (copied below) supporting that being applied to City Hall, and training the "Occupiers" in sustainable landscaping and LID "Occupations."


December 9, 2011

Jon. K. Mukri, General Manager
Los Angeles Dept. of Recreation and Parks
221 N. Figueroa St., Suite 1550
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Dear Mr. Mukri:

On behalf of the LA Chapter* of Surfrider Foundation, we support LA City Councilman Krekorian’s motion that the LA Recreation and Parks Department apply the LA City Low Impact Development Ordinance (LID) principles and practices to the restoration of landscaping at LA City Hall that was harmed by the “Occupation.”

Coincidentally, we have just learned that the LA Conservation Corps is going to be involved with applying LID practices to the North Lawn. So it makes sense to apply the same technique to the entire landscaping surrounding City Hall.

Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Gardens ProgramTM encourages people to “apply CPR – Conservation, Permeability and Retention© - to revive our watersheds and oceans.”  OFG exceeds the common LID approach:

• Conservation of water, energy and native habitat through native plants spaced for mature growth;
• Permeability through healthy soil, mulch and spaces in hardscape;
• Retention of rainwater to prevent runoff.

The retrofit presents a chance to continue building on the sustainability and conservation policies that are promoted by the Mayor and City family. It would be a great opportunity to:
• Train LA City staff, local professionals and NGO staff, academia and residents through hands-on workshops to install the retrofit;
• Create a highly visible model for staff, local professionals and those considering retrofitting their landscape, whether taking advantage of the LADWP turf removal rebate or not;
• Work with LA Conservation Corps to help maintain the site. LACC members have been receiving professional-level training through the LA City Rain Garden Pilot Program to design, install and maintain such landscapes. Training has been lead by G3/The Green Gardens Group, and G3 could provide more extensive maintenance training (and lead hands-on workshops).

We would be happy to lend our support and assistance in any way your need it.


Paul Herzog, National Coordinator
Ocean Friendly Gardens Program

* The LA Chapter is one of 81 across the country and one of over 100 around the world.