Category: Urban Design

Eco-film shorts

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This month its bike culture that’s ringing our bells.

When:  Saturday  February 7, 2015  7 pm – 9:30 pm

Where:  Sivananda Yoga Center   13325 Beach Ave  Marina Del Rey  90232

Its a snack-luck….bring a snack to share 🙂

Meet cyclist-activists  and bike-walk-tavists who are changing LA from a crowded isolating car town to a  bi-pedal and ped-friendly village .  See eco-film shorts + panel + discussion and snack-luck.

You’ll meet Nona Varnado, founder of LA Bike Trains. 

This org provides curated routes run by Conductors – experienced urban cyclists – to educate new riders, harness the safety of riding in a group and kicking it up a notch by making the ride a fun social experience.  Plus it’s totally free!  All you need to do is submit your email, cell phone number and the route that you’re interested in. If you don’t see a route that works for you – suggest one! http://labiketrains.com/

You’ll also meet Jim Shanman of Walk n’ Rollers http://www.walknrollers.org/

Inline image 1

Walk n’ Rollers encourages kids to bike, walk, skate and scoot to school more frequently. 

They organize:

• Walk/Bike to School Days
• Bike Safety Festivals (Bike Rodeos)
• Safe Routes to School Education and Encouragement Programs

Its a snack-luck….bring a snack to share 🙂

GrassUpRoots Plant-in Party

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Sheet mulching’s an alternative way to lose the lawn and prepare for planting.

Join us for a GrassUpRoots Plant-in Party

When:  Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014   10 am – 4 pm

Where:  Private residence, Leimert Park neighborhood.  Please rsvp for address: transitionculvercity@gmail.com or call 310-780-1051.

There’s a drought , you’ve heard about it, so what better time to lose the lawn and replace it with a more sustainable garden. Join us for planting fun and community. Learn how to get rid of your lawn the Transition way…with a party!

This homeowner’s yard has been sheet mulched, so we will be digging holes and planting California natives. Bring gloves, work shoes, shovel and/or trowel, hat.  Lunch will be provided.

Please rsvp for address: transitionculvercity@gmail.com or call 310-780-1051.

For information on sheet mulching: http://www.patternliteracy.com/books/gaias-garden/how-to-the-ultimate-bomb-proof-sheet-mulch

For info on water-saving gardening: http://www.bewaterwise.com/

Parkway Vision for Culver City

 

Imagine a parkway designed for beauty and functionality; one that’s a gateway to your property, a habitat for local plant and bird species, AND a sponge that holds and cleanses precious water before it returns to the ocean.

When new parkway regulations were first presented to Culver City council in May 2013, Transition Culver City members decided this would be a perfect time to re-imagine our parkways. We wondered how parkway regs could match what we had already observed in our neighborhoods – parkways that were more than places to curb ones car or dog.  Instead, we saw gathering places, native plant sanctuaries, and zen-like gardens.

We  interviewed experts in the field of sustainable landscape, to harvest their knowledge.  With the assistance of Flowtown Films, we decided to grow a parkway video.

We would like to thank the people and organizations who were involved in the making of this film:

Charles Herbertson – Director, Culver City Public Works  http://www.culvercity.org/Government/Misc/GovernmentContacts.aspx

Patrick Reynolds – Culver City Parks Manager http://www.culvercity.org/Government/Misc/GovernmentContacts.aspx

S. Damian Skinner – Culver City Public Works Environmental Programs and Operations https://www.culvercity.org/Government/PublicWorks/EnvironmentalPrograms.aspx

Ray Olson – City of Ventura, Environmental Sustainability  http://www.cityofventura.net/environmental

Pamela Burstler – G3 (Green Gardens Group)  http://www.greengardensgroup.com/

Tom Rau – Surfrider Foundation  http://wlam.surfrider.org/   http://tomrau-rla.com/

Andy Lipkis – Tree People  http://www.treepeople.org/

Shelley Luce – Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission http://www.smbrc.ca.gov/   

Angel Taeger  – LA Green Grounds  http://lagreengrounds.org/

To see the Culver City Parkway Draft Ordinance: http://www.culvercity.org/sirepub/pubmtgframe.aspx?meetid=854&doctype=Agenda

And a special thank you to Vallier Hardy and ModMaN of Flowtown Films http://www.flowtownfilms.com/  without whom this video project would not have been possible!!!

 

Free Eco Movie: Ecological Consciousness, Sat Aug 10, 2013 — 7 pm

AndrewFaust-EcologicalConsciousness

There are billions of years of collected wisdom in the fabric of our being.
How do we unlock our inner cosmic energy in the landscape?

TCC & our neighbors Transition Mar Vista/Venice are co-hosting an inspiring video from one of NYC’s leading permaculturists, Andrew Faust of the Center for Bioregional Living . Join us in exploring what it means to begin to live in ways that intentionally participates with evolution.

ECO-MOVIE NIGHT:
ECOLOGICAL CONSCIOUSNESS

Saturday, August 10, 7-9pm
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, 13325 Beach Ave Marina del Rey 90292

FREE event—donations always welcome.

Discussion follows film

 

Andrew Faust

ABOUT ANDREW: One of North America’s premier Permaculture teachers and designers with nearly two decades of experience in the field, Andrew Faust’s passionate and visionary presentation and curriculum has been inspiring and motivating students since his days as an alternative school teacher at Upattinas in Glenmoore, Pennsylvania. Andrew lived off the grid in West Virginia for 8 years where he designed and built a Permaculture inspired homestead including a 1600 sq ft strawbale house. He moved to Brooklyn in 2007 and has been applying his knowledge to the urban landscape, culminating in a Permaculture Design Certification course many consider to be life changing.

Andrew is founder of The Center for Bioregional Living in Ellenville, NY with his partner Adriana Magana. The Center is a pilot campus for his students and clients to learn how to create diverse regional Infrastructures that are well adapted to LOCAL ecological, social and geological realities.  Being experienced in both rural & urban permaculture, Andrew’s curriculum teaches how to retrofit urban environments to be more ecologically sound and socially responsible as well as how to create positive relationships between cities and outlying rural communities.

 

Chicken-Keeping Workshop and Pot Luck, Sat July 20 2013, 1-4 pm

Chicken-Keeping Workshop

A busy afternoon

 

Experience the joys of Backyard Chicken-keeping!

Come hang out @ the Little Blue House for a fun and interactive chicken-keeping teach-in! Meet the chickens, see the henhouse and chicken run. Learn how raising chickens and veggies can be complementary activities. Featuring guest speakers the Gardenerd & HoneyLove! We’ll wrap up the afternoon with a potluck feast.

CHICKEN-KEEPING WORKSHOP
& POTLUCK PARTY

Little Blue House—Culver City 90230
For specific address, RSVP
TransitionCulverCity@gmail.com
or text or call 310-780-1051
(please RSVP for a head count)

Workshop is free—
Donations are welcome (helps support future events).

Please bring a potluck dish for 8-10 people.

About Our Guest Presenters:

Christy WilhelmiChristy Wilhelmi will talk to us about chickens as gardening companions and the “workhorses” of a healthy garden ecosystem plus other kernals of wisdom from her new book Gardening for Geeks which she’ll have on hand for purchase. ” REVIEW: “Gardening for Geeks is written in easy to understand language that will be useful for both the beginner and advanced gardener. There are loads of photographs, drawings and charts to help you see exactly what the author is covering in each chapter. If you pick up one gardening book this season, this needs to be it.” – Confessions of an Overworked Mom

HoneyLove Urban Bee KeepingHoneyLove’s Chelsea McFarland will pop by to speak for the bees! A local nonprofit conservation organization, HoneyLove’s mission is to protect the honeybees and inspire and educate new urban beekeepers. Why urban beekeeping? HoneyLove believes that the city is the last refuge of the honeybee. Our home gardens are free of pesticides, and in cities like Los Angeles, there is year-round availability of pollen and nectar.

The Parkway Landscaping Report: YES, the Public WILL be Heard!

Drought Tolerant Parkway Curb

 

Will Culver City residents be allowed to put veggies on the parkways abutting their homes?

Can property owners place benches and community library boxes on the parkways without getting fined? 

In these economically challenging times, would a permit fee of $151.50 for installing drought tolerant perennials and succulents in one’s parkway promote or prevent people from removing their thirsty lawn strips? 

How can our city ordinances support best-use of abundant residential parkway public land?

Continue reading

Residential Parkway Regulations to be Discussed at City Hall – TUESDAY May 28, 2013

Out with lawn grass strips, in with drought tolerant plantings and food gardens!

 

Parkway Regulations

 

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 this coming TUESDAY, MAY 28, 2013 and you — yes you! — can be part of the conversation.

CULVER CITY PUBLIC MEETING TO DISCUSS
ADOPTION of a RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING
RESIDENTIAL PARKWAY STANDARDS
When:

TUESDAY, May 28th, 2013, 7pm

Where:
Culver City Council Chambers
9770 Culver Blvd., Culver City, 90232

From Culver City’s Official Public Notice of Meeting :

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.

If you live locally and are reading this website, it is most likely you’ve already converted your parkway to something more environmentally friendly with an array of luxurious drought-happy plants and bushes. And perhaps you’re growing a patch of veggies there, or put a park bench and a winding path in your parkway to help build community in your neighborhood like City Repair has encouraged throughout Portland, Oregon. Or maybe you’ve even installed a Little Free Library to promote literacy & solidarity in your neighborhood! Well, it looks like all of this and more will be out-of-compliance and incurring permit fees and possible fines if the new regulations go through unchallenged.

SEE CULVER CITY’s new proposed ordinance here >>
(scroll to Agenda Item A-1)
NOTE: There’s also information on tree removal in the ordinance,
but the focus of this blogpost is on parkway landscaping.

Come deliver your 3 minutes of opinion in person to the council,
or if you can’t attend but wish to express your views,
write an email to the council
Please familiarize yourself with the actual 5/28 agenda item report
(just posted 5/22) so you’ll be up to date with the facts.

When you come to City Hall chambers, fill out a speaker’s card—ask for assistance if it’s your first time.

IN A NUTSHELL: The report drafted by staff is an amendment to a chapter of city municipal code pertinent to Parkway Planting Standards and Tree Removal Regulations & Ordinances. Exhibit C&D of the report includes a list of recommended plantings: 20 lawn alternatives (EXHIBIT C, no permit required) and 64 drought tolerant perennials & low bushes (EXHIBIT D, permit required)—nothing over 30 inches allowed. No edibles, no garden veggies, no fruit trees. And there’s hardscaping limitations too.  TO VIEW THE LIST of recommended plants which includes helpful color reference pictures, go to the 5/28/13 Agenda report, scroll to Item A-1, click on the underlined description, then click on the PDF of “Attachments” on the right, then scroll to “Exhibit D”… whew!

Too much work? Here’s some excerpts from the proposed ordinance:

§ 9.08.210—PLANTINGS, LANDSCAPING, HARDSCAPES OR OTHER ITEMS IN PARKWAYS: PERMIT REQUIRED

A.   No person shall plant any tree, plant, shrub, flower, vine, vegetable, grain, or other vegetation in or on any Parkway in the City without first obtaining a permit from the Public Works Director. Such permit shall state the variety, location and size of trees, plants and shrubs to be planted.

B.  No person shall install, construct, deposit, or maintain any stepping stones, pavers, brick, rock, concrete structure or any other item or obstacle in or on any Parkway within the City without first obtaining a permit from the Public Works Director. Such permit shall state the type and location of materials to be installed, constructed, deposited or maintained…

If we’ve read the report correctly, it says that, pending passage of this proposed ordinance and Standards, a processing application & inspection fee for a basic parkway permit (other than walkable plantings selected from the recommended list) of $151.50 will be enacted. We’re hoping for some clarification on this point.

Here’s more from the proposed Ordinance about code violations:

§ 9.08.230 — VIOLATIONS UNLAWFUL; PENALTIES; ADMINISTRATIVE COST RECOVERY

C.   A violation of any provision of this Subchapter is subject to a civil action brought by the City Attorney, punishable by a civil fine not less than one hundred dollars ($100) and not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) per violation for each day, or part thereof, such violation occurs.
D.  A violation of any provision of this Subchapter may, at the discretion of the City Attorney, be prosecuted as an infraction or misdemeanor and subject to the criminal penalties provided in Sections 1.01.040 and 1.01.045 of this Code…
F.  It is the intent of the City Council to recover the costs incurred by the City from: (1) enforcing and obtaining compliance with the provisions of this Subchapter and (2) damage to City property resulting from violations of the Subchapter.

Continuing on to page 7, concerning EXISTING NON-CONFORMING PARKWAYS, the report says:

There are currently a significant number of unpermitted alterations to parkways that will be out-of-compliance with these proposed Residential Parkway Standards (and with the existing CCMC and Proposed Ordinance, if adopted, which require a permit). Code Enforcement has not been aggressively pursuing these violations due to the lack of clear Standards and a designated permit process. With the adoption of the proposed Residential Parkway Standards,  the Code Enforcement Division has indicated that it intends to prioritize enforcement based on complaints received and the severity of the violations, consistent with the current Council-approved approach.

And here’s some illustrations from Exhibit B of the Report’s Attachments:

CC Parkway Agenda ItemA1-Dos&Donts

 

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 or have a conversation about appropriate use of public space for the public good? Come let Culver City governance know your opinion!

If you’d like to learn more about this issue from the Los Angeles perspective, here’s some interesting stories:

“Taking Back the Streets through Urban Agriculture” from ROOTS OF CHANGE >>

An opinion about the L.A. Parkway Planting Rules from our friends the urban D.I.Y. homestead folks at ROOT SIMPLE >>

SUCCESSFUL CHALLENGE of L.A. MUNICIPAL CODE  § 56.08: Support Growing Edibles on the Parkway in L.A. >>

The inspirational story of LA’s Urban Garden Guerrilla Ron Finley on TED TALKS, Long Beach, Feb 2013:

(over a million views!)

If embedded video not visible above, click here to view:
 http://on.ted.com/Finley

Hope to see you at City Hall on Tuesday, May 28th!

——————-
POST-MEETING ADDENDUM:

Read about how the vote went  >>>
(spoiler alert: happy beginning, much more story to unfold!)

NEWS FLASH: Arborist to Speak at House #5F at Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase

 

Arborist Pieter Severynan at a recent fruit tree pruning seminar in Culver City. He has generously offered to speak at the upcoming Green Garden Showcase

 

Saturday, April 20, 2013
Showcase hours: 10 am – 4 pm

TREE TALKS with PIETER SEVERYNEN:
10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

WHERE:
House #5F
11375 Matteson Ave, LA 90066

Transition Culver City is proud to announce that popular westside arborist and landscape architect Pieter Severynen will be offering three short presentations at the upcoming Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase!

The author of the LA Times’ popular “Tree of the Week” series, Pieter will be sharing his wisdom with Showcase visitors as well as providing helpful hand-outs. Anyone who pops by during this window of time is in for a treat! Here’s the schedule:

10:30 – 10:45 am
Care of Southern California Fruit Trees:
Selection, Planting, Pruning and Maintenance

11:00 – 11:15 am
Recommended Low Chill Fruit Trees for Southern California

11:30 – 11:45 am
A Silent Jungle:
The Soil Under Our Feet

Come learn from an authentic master tree whisperer! Pieter has 35+ years experience as a Licensed California Landscape Architect and 20 years as a certified arborist. He speaks to civic groups on a variety of environment-related subjects including water in the world & global warming. His independent LA consulting firm is known for creating integrated, low resource consuming, emotionally appealing, environmentally sensitive, ecologically sustainable green space designs that emphasize character revealing trees and shrubs, low maintenance and long term viability.

This showcase garden, one of 100 gardens open to self-guided tours on the Showcase day, is also the Guest Booth for our local Transition Towns movement. Read more on TCC>>

Go to MAR VISTA GREEN GARDEN SHOWCASE website homepage >>

Transition Guest Booth at 2013 Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase

11375 Matteson Ave. — Showcase Garden #5F — Transition Town Guest Booth

Saturday, April 20, 2013
10 am – 4 pm
SELF-GUIDED TOUR of 100 RESIDENTIAL GARDENS
Throughout our Community!

Tour Maps available at:
Showcase Central — House #4H >>
-or-
Transition Town Guest Booth — House #5F >>
11375 Matteson Avenue, L.A. 90066 

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 90066It’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

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 (ribes family) 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 Coalition are 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!

Showcase maps are available at the Transition Guest Booth or Showcase Central at House #4F at 3635 Grandview Blvd.

2012 Showcase Bike Corral

Movie Night: Alternative Building! — Sat. March 16, 6:45 pm

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:

GarbageWarrior Poster

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.

EarthShip greywater purification system

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 BioTecture

Michael Reynolds: another innovative architect offering solutions for a more resilient future. Image courtesy of: http://earthship.net/