Why We're Planting Wildflowers Across LA County
We're so excited to be presenting an amazing project by artist Fritz Haeg, entitled Wildflowering L.A. The project is huge, occupying the entire urbanized region of the county, and will come together by dispersing native wildflower seeds to local residents and businesses in the fall, then gathering the photos, stories, cuttings, and mapped locations at a central project headquarters during the period of peak bloom in Spring 2014.
“Age-defying thirsty landscapes of clipped evergreen shrubbery and lawns cover this city that supposedly has no seasons, no sense of time, and an aversion to aging," says Haeg. "But the story of its native wildflowers is more complex, nuanced, localized and ever-changing.”
Haeg envisions a transformation of Los Angeles County come spring. “Long anticipated early winter rains germinate seeds that have been lying in wait, buried in dry soils from the low coasts to the high deserts, from the valley flats to the mountain slopes," he says. "Gradual growth with cool temperatures and low sun through winter months give way to an early spring explosion of bright green and rainbow color. The story of the season is told with the timing and extent of the bloom in direct proportion to the rainfall, temperatures, and climate. The plants turn to a crisp golden brown as the dry summer months return, and the flowers prepare to broadcast their seeds for next year’s story.”
We are currently at the first critical stage identifying publicly viewable land for the project. It's an open call and this isn’t just for existing gardens—as long as the land can be seen by folks walking by or is a public plot, it can work. Think creatively: apartment complexes, businesses, child care centers, churches, community centers, hospitals, hotels, office buildings, schools, senior centers, shopping malls, stores, vacant lots, etc.
Do you have ownership of an open plot of land (or permission from the owner) that is sunny and completely visible from a public street? Seeds are provided for areas from 500 to 2000 square feet. Also provided: A three foot by five foot wood sign is installed on each site by the project team after the seeds are planted by the owners in November. Each site will be identified on a published map and photographed before and after for the spring exhibition. Please email a photo of the site taken from the street or public viewing spot and the complete address for consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyone who has a commitment to planting and caring for wildflowers is also invited to attend public workshops. The Theodore Payne Foundation, a Wildflowering L.A. partner, will provide free native wildflower seed mixes and teach participants about soil preparation, seeding, and wildflower tending. Participants will be “prescribed” one of four custom wildflower seed mixes based on geographical location and personal choice.
Sunday, October 27, 2013, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden
301 North Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA 91007
Saturday, November 2, 2013, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Rancho Cienega Recreation Center
5001 Rodeo Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90016
This project is part of GOOD's series Push for Good—our guide to crowdsourcing creative progress.
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