Events in Ballona-land

November 20, 2009 § 2 Comments

Tree planters, grab your shovels and head out to Ballona Creek and Cochran Avenue tomorrow morning – Saturday – to help out with what promises to be a significant project on Ballona Creek in Mid-City Los Angeles.  North East Trees, with the support of Mid City folks, Council District 10, and the involvement of the Ballona Creek Renaissance, has been working to mitigate stormwater runoff entering this oft-neglected reach of the stream from the neighborhood using natural solutions – what is sometimes called biotreatment.  Tomorrow’s tree planting is a step in implementing the plans and will also help beautify the area.

[UPDATE] Thank you Marcia Hanscom for the reminder in the Comments section that Ballona Institute is also in the midst of restoration plantings on the Grand Canal Lagoon – a partially disconnected part of the Ballona Wetlands system that we all recognize as part of the Venice canals today.  Ballona Institute is bringing back the richness of diversity of wetlands plants that has been lost over years of filling & draining of the wetlands.  Every Saturday & Sunday (except the 6th and the weekend after Christmas) they will be out working from 9-noon, and 1:30-4:30pm.  Contact outreach@ballonainstitute or call (310) 578-8888. For more details, check out the comment section.

On December 4th, the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority (MRCA) will be dedicating several new landscaped entries to the Ballona Creek bikepath.  The MRCA has been a greenway-building powerhouse in our region, and I look forward to seeing their newest projects.  The dedication ceremony will be at 10am at Inglewood Avenue and Ballona Creek.  Tree planting and bike tour to immediately follow.

In other news the Ballona Watershed, Ballona Creek Renaissance and the Friends of Ballona Wetlands are partnering with folks at the Mar Vista Gardens housing project and family center to educate youth about the watershed and also install biotreatment that is also habitat along the banks of Ballona Creek in the Mar Vista area.  Hopefully I’ll remember to post the events so you can join in.

Meanwhile, for those of you who prefer virtual involvement to physical labor, a team of researchers (from Southern California Coastal Waters Research Project, CSUN, USC, San Francisco Estuary Institute and me) is working on a Ballona Historical Ecology project – and is keeping a blog about our work.  While it is partly for communicating the mundane (who’s going to what library when) we will also be posting juicy findings and tidbits – and welcome input from members of the public who have recollections of floods, fish, springs, wetlands, duck hunting, sycamores, willows, streams, old watering or swimming holes etc that existed in the Ballona Creek watershed (basically the area draining from downtown LA west to Marina del Rey, between the Santa Monica Mountains/Hollywood Hills to Inglewood).  You are always welcome to post those stories here on LA Creekfreak, but this Ballona Historical Ecology blog will take your comments direct to the research team.  Some of the team (with UCLA) area also studying the water flows in the watershed, in part to determine how much of the water in our stormdrains is actually “native” water from springs, seeps or groundwater – as opposed to runoff from yards or the Colorado River.

Many of the above-mentioned projects and activities were fostered through brainstorming at the Ballona Creek Watershed Task Force and among staff at the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission while I was working there.  It’s nice to see things happening.

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§ 2 Responses to Events in Ballona-land

  • And for those who are more comfortable with the “elfin forest” concept, come out with shovels, trowels or just a positive attitude and help plant more than 10,000 native coastal marsh plants at the northern-most part of the historical Ballona Wetlands landscape: Ballona Wetlands ‘ Grand Canal Lagoon. We will be there TODAY and many Saturdays and Sundays into the future (except Dec. 6 and the weekend aftr Christmas.) Let us know you are coming – either for a three-hour shift from 9 am to noon or from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm. We are planting beautiful plants like Gumplant, Marsh Rosemary, Parish’s Glasswort, Pickleplant and Mock Heather. (and a few dozen OTHER species – a Butterfly’s HEAVEN!) outreach@ballonainstitute.org or (310) 578-5888

  • oh ~ I ought to have mentioned, this Grand Canal Lagoon RESTORATION project brought to the Ballona watershed by Ballona Institute, in partnership with Los Angeles City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Office of Volunteer Services, City Bureau of Engineering/Public Works Dept., Los Angeles Conservation Corps/Sea Lab, Growing Solutions, Marina Peninsula Neighborhood Association, Venice Neighborhood Council and the Westside Leadership Magnet School. Join us!

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