GPW: Self-Tempered Anarchy since 2009

Your GPW Editor-on-Occasion is Petra Fried in the City.
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stories along The Way

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mayor's 'Million Trees' program is greening... Griffith Park

GPWist has received some good intel that much of the extensive tree planting happening in most of the picnic areas of Griffith Park is being done by Tree People and others as they unload the rest of the Mayor's Million Trees program trees.

Million Trees was proffered as a City-wide greening initiative by the Mayor. From the web site
This is a partnership between the City of Los Angeles, community groups, businesses and individuals like you, working together to plant and provide long-term stewardship of one million trees, planted all over the city with a focus on areas that need it most.
If actual planting defines need, then City-wide it looks like the green spaces in Griffith Park need it most. has a good blog entry on what one person found when he recently went to get trees from the program at their Griffith Park nursery location. Hint: it wasn't very green.

GPWist first reported on the curious intensive plantings that occurred at Mineral Wells. Beyond the added forestation in a High Severity Fire Zone and the increased need for maintenance and water during major cutbacks for the Department of Recreation and Parks, the lines of trees cut down people's ability to utilize the areas for soccer games and similar activities.

The latter is both good and bad, depending upon the type of area impacted. Inappropriate use of different lawns cause a great deal of damage in parks throughout the City and cost Rec and Parks and taxpayers a lot of money in restoration and extra care to rehabilitate. Some claim that building more formal play fields is the automatic cure for these activities, but point of fact is that the biggest problems come from people picnicking who then just want to play a game. They aren't going to leave their picnic and move to an organized sports field to do it. That's not human nature.

That said, picnic areas that are designed for larger activities to spontaneously break out are in demand and should be included in design and refurbishing projects.

I was kind of shocked on Sunday when the very first parks patron I casually asked about the plantings in an informal survey responded extremely vigorously in the negative at the carving up of all of the park's picnic areas by the aggressive planting. They couldn't play soccer in their favorite picnic spot, they told me, with considerable anger.

Not everyone, then, has the knee-jerk reaction that TREES PLANTED automatically equals GOOD THING.

The devil, as always, is in the details, and that means proper planning and management: imperative in any parks system.