The park around City Hall has been fenced off since last December 1, when the LAPD chased out Occupy LA, and meanwhile the city has been working on a new, drought-tolerant replacement. The 1.7 acre park will officially reopen on Thursday and we know it will still have turf in addition to native planting--what else can we expect?
-- Landscape architect Tom Gibson, who headed the project, says there were a few priorities: "That’s really our primary responsibility, public safety. But also environmentally, sustainability issues?Also, just making places look good too, you know?" he tells KPCC.
-- "A lush green lawn again rolls up a hill and flattens into a wider flat area that invites lounging."
-- There's now more greenery right up against City Hall.
-- Gibson also wanted to reflect the history of the site--the park was typically palm treed and turfed up back in the thirties; in the forties, it was "thirsty and tropical," with lots of birds of paradise (the city's official flower, but not a native). There are a few birds of paradise in the new park.
-- Most of the grass removal has been on the west and north sides of the building--the Downtown News says most of that turf has been "replaced wholesale with a colorful mix of agaves, aloe and other succulents."
-- There will "some 200 small signs" explaining the plants and where they come from, so you'll know just how native it all is.
-- Mayor Villaraigosa "personally sought plants with pops of color, purples especially, like the penstamen margarita bop plant."
-- With the major turf reduction, "Gibson says he hopes Angelenos can see that successful gardens in their own yards could include native and drought-tolerant plants."
-- The park will be open from 5:30 am to 10 pm. No camping will be allowed.
· Native plants, new landscaping re-occupy City Hall park in Los Angeles [SCPR]
· A ‘Greener’ City Hall Park Opens This Week [DN]
· City Hall Grounds Getting Part-Grass, Part-Native Plants Look [Curbed LA]