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

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