Let's plant our way to a healthier river.
Let's plant our way to a healthier river.
Grown in LA (GiLA) is a call-to-arms to re-envision and revitalize Los Angeles that brings together Los Angeles government entities, non-profits, private organizations, and academic institutions toward a shared mission—converting underutilized land in Los Angeles into a network of nurseries designed to produce the plants needed for water-wise and urban ecology projects (such as public parks and LA River restoration) while at the same time provide educational and vocational training opportunities for Angelenos. It is an initiative that unites projects with people to create possibilities for changing the course of our urban environments, otherwise unachievable by individuals.
We provide a collective voice and collaborative framework designed to simultaneously address the ecological, social and economic systems in our communities, using plants as our currency, local education and employment training programs as our fuel, and the LA River as our laboratory.
Grown in LA will source seeds from the local Los Angeles region, propagate plants locally within the Los Angeles region, and supply plants to projects that are also located in the LA area. The nurseries we help start will also serve as laboratories that research topics related to urban ecology, a task not being tackled by any other nursery in Southern California.
In May of 2014, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) boldly recommended adopting Alternative 20—the most extensive and robust plan for restoration—in their Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study (ARBOR). When implemented, Alternative 20 will restore over 700 acres along 11 miles of the Los Angeles River. Although the recommendation was a tremendous victory for Los Angeles and its river, the announcement also caused an up swell of concern. Both then and now, plants are sourced from outside of our county and state line to meet the demand of current projects. So where would we find the native plants needed for such large-scale restoration projects coming down the pipeline? The answer: Los Angeles. Grown in LA was created to ensure that will be a reality.
Grown in LA is a project of Community Partners®. Community Partners® accelerates ideas into action to advance the public good. Working with civic leaders and community groups throughout the greater Los Angeles area and California, Community Partners acts as a catalyst for community change, civic action and readiness to address existing and emerging needs. Community Partners offers critical guidance, training, resources, fiscal sponsorship and management services to a range of organizations, initiatives, foundations, government agencies and social entrepreneurs with innovative ideas for building communities. Since its inception in 1992, Community Partners has supported the success of nearly 600 projects and civic leaders through our incubator services, strategic initiatives and special projects. For more information about its programs and services, please see www.communitypartners.org
Eileen Alduenda, Council for Watershed Health
Mia Lehrer, Mia Lehrer + Associates
Drew Ready, Chino Basin Water Conservation District
Jill Sourial, The Nature Conservancy
Kat Superfisky is a designer, educator, and urban ecologist who devotes her days, nights and dreams to transforming urban areas into more inhabitable places. After obtaining a Master of Landscape Architecture, Master of Science in Conservation Ecology and Teaching Certificate from the University of Michigan in 2013, Kat moved 2,300 miles across the country for the Los Angeles River. Kat sees LA—and its river—as the perfect laboratory to explore how to rebuild urban areas into more symbiotic cities. Kat’s previous professional background includes: planning and implementing ecosystem management for 24,000 acres of public parkland in metropolitan Detroit; developing urban environmental educational programs; and teaching undergraduate environmental courses. Kat is a former Doris Duke Conservation Fellow, and current member of the Ecological Society of America (ESA).