The mayor’s record on water conservation

The water conservation achievements of LA's outgoing mayor have been the subject of hyperbole, however there have been impressive savings. Since 2007, water consumption in the City of Angeles has dropped by 17.58%.

God, lawn and me


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Sitting on the kitchen table is a rebate form from the local water company that I can’t bring myself to sign. Admittedly, a tidy slug of cash would be welcome for having replaced a toilet with an aquarium-sized tank with a low-flow version, and for having smothered and replaced a water-hungry backyard lawn with a mix of food and native plants that require a fraction of the water and provide many times the benefits. But even touching the rebate form feels corrupt. What kind of person expects to be paid for an act that is the opposite of sacrifice?

Mr Villaraigosa, rip out that lawn

 

Occupy LA sign on tree, LA City Hall, October, 2011. No nails used. Photo: Emily Green

Whatever the accomplishments of Occupy L.A. when it finally decamps — or gets evicted — from around City Hall, one positive achievement is already clear: It has killed the lawn.

The Times’ editorial board has harrumphed about the taxpayer expense of replacing one of downtown’s “rare green spaces,” and it worries that the “majestic figs” are at risk. Last week, the Department of Recreation and Parks sent an aggrieved letter to the mayor about signs nailed to trees, broken sprinkler heads and compacted soil. The nails and compacted soil are unfortunate. But really, Rec and Parks is missing the point. Occupy L.A. has given City Hall the chance to walk its talk.

Click here to keep reading my call for climate-appropriate landscaping around LA City Hall in the op-ed pages of the Los

Mr Garcetti, tear out this lawn

Yesterday the Los Angeles Times ran an editorial calling for the end of the Occupy LA encampment around City Hall. Among the reasons given were, “They’re killing the lawn in one of downtown’s rare green spaces, which will have to be replaced at taxpayer expense, and they may be damaging City Hall’s majestic fig trees.”

As one of the paper’s garden writers, I beg to differ. Having been to Occupy LA on Thursday, I can see that the encampment is, indeed, acting as human sheet mulch, a powerful technique for removing lawn. Yet once it’s killed, why replace it? Killing the lawn in a water-strapped region is one of the most beneficial things that any citizen can do. The water utility run by the Council inside City Hall has been paying rebates for home owners to do just that for several years now. That Occupy LA is smothering lawn for

Turf war continues

A proposal from Los Angeles Department of Water & Power Commissioners to switch LA’s lawn-watering ordinance from a two-day to a four-day-a-week opposite side of the street regime was rejected yesterday by the Los Angeles City Council, reports the Los Angeles Times. Instead, led by San Fernando Valley councilman Greig Smith, the council countered with a proposal that would allow three-day watering, though for shorter periods. This will be returned to DWP commissioners for consideration.

Last year, after the two-day rule was instituted by his own chamber, Smith publicly flouted it. “My grass is greener than it’s ever been,” Smith told the Daily News last September, a time of year that lawn is naturally brown. He defended his proposal yesterday by saying that it uses less water because of shorter cycles, with a total of 24 minutes watering a week instead of the two-day system’s 30 minutes.

The

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    Emily Green by e-mail at emily.green [at] mac.com
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