AirTalk for August 13, 2014

Drought watch: The case for and against ripping out LA’s public lawns

City Hall Lawn

Andres Aguila/KPCC

A bird relaxes on recently-planted grass in LA's City Hall Park. The lawn designed after the Occupy movement is expected to attract more birds and insects.

L.A. City councilmen Felipe Fuentes and Mike Bonin have had enough. They’re calling on Los Angeles in a motion introduced this week to stop watering the lush green lawns on city property, let them go brown, and eventually replant with native plants.

Their argument is simple: It sets a bad example to be maintaining the city’s turf-grass lawns while residents face mandatory watering restrictions. 

Particularly in poor taste, according to their motion, is the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s electricity distribution station in Eagle Rock, which neighbors say gets watered hours on end.

Do you agree Los Angeles should make its city properties showcases for sustainability? Or is there something we just aren’t ready to sacrifice about the stateliness of a green lawn on official city property? And would it really be more sustainable and save resources to rip out those lawns and replace them with native plants, which would still require significant amounts of water in their first few years to establish themselves in new ground?

Guest:

Felipe Fuentes, councilmember of the seventh district, serving the communities of Lake View Terrace, Mission Hills, North Hills, Pacoima, Shadow Hills, Sunland, Tujunga,La Tuna Canyon, Sylmar

Penny Falcon, Water Conservation Manager, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power


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