Now that Occupy LA's been forced off the City Hall lawn, the city has some tough choices to make on how to re-landscape the 1.7 acre area. You can't have politicians giving press conferences surrounded by ratty, tent-matted grass, after all. The Recreation and Parks Department has three ideas under consideration for the "blank canvas," according to the LA Times:
1. This one is "low-fanfare," says the LAT: just grass. Rec and Parks's superintendent of planning, construction and maintenance Michael Shull says this is the cheapest option, but the president of the LA chapter of the California Native Plant Society says it's only cheapest to actually install--the maintenance and fertilizer costs down the road would be pricey. A landscaper estimates the costs to grade, mulch, update the irrigation system, and plant a nice grass like Carex pansa would be about $5-7 per square foot, or about $375,000-525,000 total. That grass would take longer to get established but could bounce back from another Occupy LA. "Traditional" grass would only be about $3 per square foot.
2. Keep some lawn, but add drought-tolerant and native plants. The CNPS president likes this idea best.
3. The "biggest departure": very little grassy lawn and a lot of native plants.
Rec and Parks is set to take the three ideas to the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council on January 10; tweaked versions will go to the City Council's Arts, Parks and Neighborhoods Committee later this month. They'll also have to be run by the Cultural Heritage Commission and the Rec and Parks Commission.
· Landscaping plan for L.A. City Hall is slow going [LAT]