Out with lawn grass strips, in with drought tolerant plantings and food gardens!
Many Southern California cities are re-writing their residential parkway ordinances to be more in alignment with the environmental need for drought tolerance while creating a framework for aesthetics and ease of use. Now Culver City governance has Parkways on the agenda and you – yes you! – can be part of the conversation.
photo by Denise Ginger from her website, A Growing Obsession
If you live locally and are reading this website, it is most likely you’ve already converted your parkway to something more environmentally friendly. And perhaps you’re growing a patch of veggies there, or have installed a permanent park bench to help build community in your neighborhood like City Repair has encouraged throughout Portland, Oregon. Or even installed a Little Free Library to promote literacy & solidarity in your neighborhood!
On Tuesday, May 28, 2013, the City Council is scheduled to consider the 1) Introduction of an ordinance related to the process for tree removals and the requirements for making modifications to parkways; and (2) Adoption of a resolution establishing Residential Parkway Standards. All members of the public are welcome to attend and participate in the discussion.
When you come to City Hall chambers, fill out a speaker’s card—ask for assistance if it’s your first time.
CULVER CITY PUBLIC MEETING TO DISCUSS
ADOPTION of a RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING
RESIDENTIAL PARKWAY STANDARDS
TUESDAY, May 28th, 2013, 7pm
Culver City Council Chambers
9770 Culver Blvd., Culver City, 90232
As a head’s up for the discussion: other areas’ recently established guidelines include features such as:
• an 18-inch height limit for all parkway plantings
• permits must be pulled (with a fee) if resident wishes to grow edibles or any other vegetation not on the list of recommended plants.
• Benches for community gathering or even rose bushes with thorns may be considered a safety hazard
Can Culver City create customized regulations to suit the needs of our residents? Can we plan ahead as an entire community to become more resilient and food-growing-friendly in the face of challenging times? Come let Culver City governance know your opinion!
This annual Earth Day event in Mar Vista offers self-guided tours of 100 home gardens that exemplify environmentally friendly alternatives to the classic lawn. These local homeowners, renters, schools and churches have all taken the leap and converted their thirsty green expanses into drought-tolerant landscapes and edible gardens. The tour covers the spectrum from homespun do-it-yourself projects to professionally landscaped environments—including urban farms, sleek architectural hardscapes, composting & vermiculture, rain harvesting, aquaponics, chicken coops, sculpture gardens, hummingbird gardens… you name it! This year’s tour places special emphasis on the critical need for ocean friendly gardens and California native gardens that support much needed pollinators such as honey bees and monarch butterflies. It’s a great day to gather ideas and inspiration for your own future lawn conversion!
The International TRANSITION TOWNS movement will be represented at the special guest booth at house #5F, 11375 Matteson Ave., Los Angeles CA 90066. It’s a collaboration between two local chapters: TCC (of course) and our neighbors, Transition Mar Vista/Venice. So if you’re not in a hurry to see the other 99 showcase gardens, there’s plenty of al fresco patio areas here to sit down, pour a lemonade, and hang out to chat with like-minded people about community resilience, food security solutions, permaculture, alternative building, water harvesting, food forests, and much more.
Learn about Transition Mar Vista/Venice’s pay-it-forward Good Karma Gardens work parties—they’re a great way to get started if you want to learn how to grow your own food! And if you need even more motivation to drop by, come by to meet seedling master Matt Van Diepen (of Mar Vista Farmers’ Market fame!) who will be on hand with FREE veggie seedling giveaways and advice on how to include more home-grown edibles in your life. Owner of Home Grown Gardens L.A., Matt is one of GKG’s skilled project coordinators.
This year, House #5F features dwarf fruit trees and berry bushes, a brilliant display of spring wildflowers, stealth veggies interspersed with drought tolerant natives, meandering flagstone pathways and do-it-yourself bistro-style hardscaping all done under strict budgetary parameters—everything cheap, recycled, scavenged and free! For helpful Do-It-Yourself tips, read the event report and access the resource links from last year’s Showcase workshop D.I.Y.: Yes You Can!: Creative Lawn Conversions on a Budget.
RAINWATER CAPTURE (SEE VIDEO!)
Another feature at this location is an unusual “hybrid” active and passive urban rainwater harvesting system. Last winter the homeowners hosted a barn-raising-style Work Party to install the system. (SEE VIDEO HERE!) The volunteer crew, wrangled by Transition-friendly landscape architect John Tikotsky, created a passive diversion “reservoir” to help recharge the aquifer, helped install unique vertical tanks (an alternative to conventional rain barrels) for active catchment, and positioned a subsurface diverter pipe to feed the percolation area. The reservoir berms were planted with California native currants (ribesfamily) and shade happy leafy greens as the beginnings of an edible food forest understory. All this, in one day—a true demonstration of the power of community!
PEDAL-POWER! FREE BICYCLE PARKING In efforts to support our community’s shift to a fossil-free future, TCC and our friends at the Culver City Bicycle Coalitionare co-hosting a “pop-up” bike corral at House # 5F. Celebrate Earth Day in style: Visitors are invited to lower their carbon footprint by cruising the garden tour by bike!
Transition Culver City is combining forces with other local democracy & environmental activists and West Los Angeles College to present an action-oriented seminar about fracking and the democratic process.
Saturday, March 23, 2013 Registration: 9:30 am
Seminar: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Seeking ways to squeeze a yield from depleted oil fields, producers of natural gas and oil across the nation are using a controversial extraction method called hydraulic fracturing (aka “FRACKING”) which forces a mixture of water and various chemicals underground under very high pressure to access hidden pockets of oil and gas. Despite sketchy regulations, ambiguous safety reports and public outrage, corporate interests continue to drive the current fracking and drilling boom.
What does this have to do with Southern California?
The Inglewood Oil Fields which hunker on the hills above WLA College is the largest contiguous urban oil field in America and is bi-sected by the active Newport-Inglewood fault line. Despite protests from concerned citizens about various health and safety issues—from air quality & noise pollution to cracks in their foundations—the 2012 Baldwin Hills Fracking Study reveals that the field has already been fracked, and that the sentous shale deep underground is a good candidate for more of the same unless the people unite to find their voice. The LA Times ran this article about the study >>
Come learn about your community rights and how to successfully mobilize.
Quick on the heels of our inspiring fieldtrip to Nader Khalili’s earth-building paradise Cal-Earth, TCC has decided to add an extra movie night to our March events:
TCC Eco-Movie Night: GARBAGE WARRIOR Saturday, March 16, 2013 • 6:45 pm – 9:30 pm WHERE: The Little Blue House (RSVP TCC for location) FREE EVENT BYO drinks, FREE Popcorn! Stay after for lively discussion.
Garbage Warrior is a feature-length documentary film telling the epic story of maverick US architect Michael Reynolds and his fight to introduce radically sustainable housing to the public. An extraordinary tale of triumph over bureaucracy, Garbage Warrior is above all an intimate portrait of an extraordinary individual and his dream of changing the world.
Imagine a home that heats itself, provides its own water, and grows its own food. Imagine that it needs no expensive technology, that it recycles its own waste, and has its own power source. And now imagine that it can be built anywhere, by anyone, out of the things society throws away…
Thirty years ago, architect Michael Reynolds imagined just such a home—then set out to build it. A visionary in the classic American mode, Reynolds has been fighting ever since to bring his concept to the public. He believes that in an age of ecological instability and impending natural disaster, his buildings can—and will—change the way we live. Shot over three years in the USA, India and Mexico, Garbage Warrior is a snapshot of contemporary geo-politics and an inspirational tale of triumph over bureaucracy, as well as an intimate portrait of an extraordinary individual and his dream of changing the world. (from IMDb)
Michael Reynolds: another innovative architect offering solutions for a more resilient future. Image courtesy of: http://earthship.net/
“This film is a wake-up call about global waste.”
—Cannes Film Festival
This month’s eco-movie is the groundbreaking docu-feature Trashed starring Jeremy Irons who goes on a journey of discovery, disbelief, and hope as he witnesses the extent and effects of the global waste problem around the world and seeks out solutions. We buy it, we bury it, we burn it and then we ignore it. What happens to all the trash we produce? Each year, we now throw away fifty-eight billion disposable cups, billions of plastic bags, 200 billion litres of water bottles, billions of tons of household waste, toxic waste, and e-waste. But there are people and movements making a difference.
This meticulous, brave investigative film takes the viewer on a ride with Irons from skepticism to sorrow and from horror to hope. Official film website & trailer: www.trashedfilm.com Music by Vangelis.
We’re co-hosting this event with our neighbors Transition Mar Vista/Venice at The reDiscover Center.What better place to screen a movie about trash than our local community art center/re-use warehouse/event space? An excerpt of their mission statement:
reDiscover promotes resource conservation, creativity, and community engagement through material reuse. Our Vision is for all Angelenos to have an outlet for acquiring and donating reusable material. As reDiscover meets this need, we move closer to a community where all waste materials can be rediscovered for their educational and creative value.
reDiscover is a nexus for environmental sustainability and crea using recycled materials. We achieve our mission and vision through strategic initiatives at our center with the reuse warehouse, gallery and event space, at schools and in the community. More about reDISCOVER >>
EVENT DATE: Saturday, March 9, 7:00pm
Doors open at 6:30 pm for networking and snacks. Join in a brainstorming session after the screening!
VENUE: reDiscover Center, 12958 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles 90066 MAP >>
Become a catalyst for a free neighborhood book exchange! Help build, paint, and install a Little Free Library Box to place in front of your own house or office or someone else’s. We’ll have some tools and experts on hand to help you with carpentry. We’ll be using recycled materials – bring some if you have them.
This event is a re-purposing and re-skilling workshop all-in-one! And its fun!
What is a Little Free Library? ”Take a Book, Leave a Book.” It’s a box the size of a small cabinet that you can fill with books you are willing to share. Little Free Libraries create a welcoming space for friends and neighbors. When you place a Little Free Library at a community center, church, temple or even in the yard of your own home, it becomes a hub for sharing books and ideas…it can become a fun place to take tea with friends and have nourishing discussions.
Personalize your Library Box to fit your style and message.
This time, we’ll be sharing the basics of bread baking from yeast to feast ! We’ll have all the bread-baking phases ready to demo this afternoon so attendees can experience the entire process of making sourdough loaves from scratch. We’ll finish up with bread tasting & community tea. Bring an apron if you have one. This event great for beginners!
Each attendee will receive a portion of sourdough starter to take home.
RE-SKILLING WORKSHOP: Learn How to Make Your Own Reusable Grocery Bags SUNDAY, JANUARY 27, 2013 1-3:30 pm
Join us for a Social-Guerrilla-Sewing Party! It’s partly a celebration of Culver City’s upcoming shift away from single use plastic grocery bags, and partly a chance to pass along some basic sewing skills in a festive, cozy, cooperative setting. We’ll have several experienced sewers on hand to teach how to sew your own reusable grocery bags from a simple pattern. Come start (or add on to) your collection of grocery bags made out of creative and fun fabrics! Beginners welcome, as are experienced sewers w/machines. (Our Time Bank members—Culver City/Palms/Mar Vista/Venice/WLA/Westchester & MdR areas—earn hours if you come with your machine!)
Bring your own fabric if you have some—preferably on the strong side (even used clothing can be repurposed!), and we’ll also have some fabric on hand (many thanks to Anna Burleigh!).
HAPPY: THE MOVIE. THE MOVEMENT…
Don’t miss our first eco-movie of the New Year, specially selected to lift the spirits and illuminate the way to positive solutions! This deeply moving documentary by Academy Award-nominated director Roko Belic explores the keys to human happiness through interviews with people from all walks of life in 14 different countries—from leading happiness researchers to a rickshaw driver in Kolkatta, from a family living in a Danish co-housing community to a Cajun fisherman, and many more. HAPPY combines real-life human drama and cutting-edge science to provide insights into the mysteries of happiness. The formula is not the same for everyone, but research shows that almost everyone can become happier. A community discussion will follow the film.
Come one, come all—Let your voice be heard with our local governance!
The Culver City Council will be hearing public comments and deciding a policy direction for Culver City’s plastic bag policy. After LA County and LA City, Culver City is the last jurisdiction on Ballona Creek without a plastic bag ban. We need to turn out all interested Culver City residents for maximum impact:
CULVER CITY PLASTIC BAG PUBLIC HEARING
Monday, December 10th, 2012 7pm
Culver City Council Chambers
9770 Culver Blvd., Culver City, 90232
Help us protect Santa Monica Bay and the oceans beyond by stopping pollution before it starts. Come deliver your 3 minutes in person to the council, or write an email to the council to be read aloud next Monday night in the chambers.
When you come to City Hall chambers, fill out a speaker’s card—ask for assistance if its your first time.