By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
In the meantime, various ideas for restoring the scorched parts of Griffith Park have been floated, from reseeding landslide-prone hillsides to shoring them up with hay bales and straw; a petition has even been circulated to introduce goats for future fire prevention in the rest of the park. (“How hungry are they?” Kerbrat wants to know. “Because we need these hillsides cleared out now.”) Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger a few days ago promised to earmark a whopping $50 million for Griffith Park restoration, from recently passed bond measures — a sum that could pay a legion of park biologists for years.
The city’s Recreation and Parks Department is assembling a committee of experts to guide decision making, but not everyone has faith the department has the resources to do the job right, in a city that is often described as the most “park poor” major city in America.
“We don’t want a repeat of the Master Plan process, where they hired people with no experience in preparing master plans for municipal parks,” says Joe Young, the co-chair of the Sierra Club’s Griffith Park Task Force. “The issues of revegetation, replanting and prevention of soil erosion should be addressed by competent outside independent analysts. They shouldn’t be Rec and Parks’ hand-picked favorites.”
Ultimately, however, unless local homeowner, environmental and neighborhood groups shoulder their way into the decision making, the reseeding and regreening of Griffith Park could easily devolve into an insider political process, controlled by City Hall politicians who are probably not even aware that Chicago, New York and other big cities pay extremely close attention to the wild lands within their borders — while Los Angeles lacks even a single Griffith Park biologist.
Cooper says that while he has no objection to officials putting in certain kinds of landscaping such as “a succulents garden on a vista point,” he hopes that Recreation and Parks finally finds some “experts” who perhaps understand that after a burn, chaparral landscapes perform spectacular restorative feats all on their own.
“We’ve got this thing in our head about how we need to turn every park in the country into Yosemite,” he says — that we’ve “got to plant pines, plant redwoods, build a stream. But you have to appreciate the extremes we have here. In its own way, this park is valuable.”
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city