Overnight, between 40 and 50 oak trees were mysteriously planted throughout the Mineral Wells picnic area in Griffith Park early last week.
Mineral Wells picnic area is a heavily utilized picnic area on the north-east side of the park. It is located in a Very High Severity Fire Zone. Barbecues are not allowed there between April 1st and November 1st each year due to the fire danger and frequency of fires in the area.
During this time of fiscal difficulty and major layoffs in the parks maintenance workers, the additional trees don't make much sense. More trees mean more maintenance work, more water use, and more forestation in this heavily utilized high-fire-hazard area.
It is doubtful that the fire experts -- the LAFD or the Park Ranger fire corps -- were consulted in this major forestation project. Someone probably just did it. Other sightings at Crystal Springs picnic area this week indicate that someone just did it throughout Griffith Park, too.
Ultimately, this may not seem like a big deal, but it is indicative of some of the really poor planning and management happening throughout Los Angeles's parks system. Either that, or it indicates a complete inability to control certain members of the City government when they want instant gratification.
Whichever it it, these kinds of "improvements" only create issues that will eventually have to be dealt with, costing taxpayers -- you and me, as well as the health of the local environment in the long run.