Here are some of our favorite moments at LASHP lately.
The area in front of our LASHP office has gone through a series of interesting changes since we moved in back in November 2008. We started out with pretty much nothing but a view of the skyline. Seeing that the front yard could use a little love, our neighbors from Metabolic Studio/Farmlab stepped up by planting some deer grass and then seeding the front with a wildflower mix. The result was a lovely, if slightly surreal array, of large, colorful sunflowers dotted with native California poppy and arroyo lupine.
By the following spring, we realized with dismay, that invasive African daisies had hitched a ride in the previous season’s wildflower mix and were taking over, crowding out our native poppies and lupine. So we went to battle, eradicating the pests in preparation for Earth Day and a new palette of native trees and vegetation.
The plan was to get a head start on the final park design which envisions the northern end, where we’re located, as natural habitat and future connecting point with the Los Angeles River. Less than a year later, our tiny trees have come along way. And though we still find ourselves pulling the occasional African daisy, we’re pleased with how our new plants are coming along. White sage, deer grass, fushia, toyon, ceonothus, and more have taken root, and while we haven’t been without set-backs, namely loosing a lot of sage to over-watering (an unfortunate combination of heavy rainfall and irrigation) we see the garden as a successful work in progress. Stay tuned to learn more about native plants and watch our garden grow.
Last week, our intrepid Superintendent for the Los Angeles Sector of CA State Parks, Sean Woods, flew to Washington, D.C. to lobby congress on behalf of State Park projects here in Los Angeles. He was invited to participate by L.A. City Council member Ed Reyes and the Army Core of Engineers, all of home presented to California’s Los Angeles Congressional delegation. They hoped to gain federal support for projects on the Los Angeles River and our sister State Park, Rio de Los Angeles, is one of the locations for one of those projects. The City of Los Angeles is hoping for 6.2 million dollars from Congress in support of these projects.
While anxiously awaiting the return of our seasonal wetland at LASHP, this morning we took a trip over to Rio de Los Angeles State Park to check out how our little sister park was handling the wet weather. Turns out she is faring quite nicely, with an amazing wetland of her own taking shape. The “oxbow” area of Rio de Los Angeles was actually designed to become a wetland, or riparian habitat, with water provided through a combination of seasonal rains and irrigation run-off from the active recreational areas in the park. The plants and trees are native species – willows, sycamores, toyon, bullrushes, sage – to name just a few. Rio de Los Angeles, like LASHP, is a former railyard (Taylor Yard) and was once highly industrialized and covered in tracks. Hard to believe!
We also went a bit further up the road to an undeveloped portion of Rio de Los Angeles which overlooks the Glendale Narrows. The river was flowing more rapidly than normal due to the rainfall, but the birds, as always were abundant in this natural, soft-bottomed section of the Los Angeles River. Someday we hope to connect LASHP to the river and see these same species up close and personal, right here next to the Broadway Bridge.