The Franklin Canyon Orange Grove is located at 1300 North Beverly Drive in Los Angeles. The land is owned by the City of Los Angeles and the grove has been in existence at least since the 1950’s. Early aerial photographs show a vibrant grove with mature trees stretching the entire length of the approximately 4.3 acre parcel. The grove was managed by the Department of Water and Power as part of the water and dam issues that exist within Franklin Canyon. In 2012, the Department of Recreation and Parks acquired a lease from DWP, as a result of the LAPF securing a private donation from the David Bohnett Foundation for the initial restoration, maintenance and enhancement of the grove. City National Bank has been a generous annual donor since 2013, assisting us with maintenance and upkeep of the grove.
The preliminary restoration project was completed in two phases. The first phase was completed in 2012 resulting in a tree survey, drip irrigation to each tree, pruning the healthy trees, some fencing repairs and mulching each tree well. Phase 2 involved removing 31 dead trees, removal of invasive trees along the south edge of the property, new fencing and filling in the grove with 116 15 gallon trees and was completed in the Spring of 2013.
Since 2014, LA Parks Foundation has partnered with the non-profit organization Food Forward to bring fresh produce to the local community. In June 2015, LAPF purchased a small electric vehicle for use during these harvests. Each year during harvest season, Food Forward visits the orange grove and harvests the fruit to donate to local agencies in the community. The 2015-2016 harvest season yielded 22,541 pounds of fruit, FoodForward's largest harvest ever, 100% of which was donated to local food banks MEND, Cooking Laboratory, Seeds of Hope, Project Angel Food, and North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry.
With the support of LADWP, the foundation will begin planting 30 new citrus trees in Spring 2017 on the open parcel just south of the grove, which will remain unfenced and open to the public. A brand new electric gate is currently being installed at the entrance of the main grove gate, which will provide increased security and ease of access for those visiting the grove. The foundation is also working closely with LADWP to have a water containment tank on site that ties in adjacent dam seepage to provide all irrigation needs to the grove, which will make the site entirely sustainable in its water usage and a wonderful illustration of water conservation efforts in Los Angeles.
The LA Parks Foundation continues to provide opportunities for local, not-for-profit food banks to bring folks on site to harvest the fruit for distribution. It is our expectation that additional educational programs will occur on the site as the trees mature and other sustainable and environmental improvements are made and can be demonstrated to the community.
The Commonwealth Nursery at Griffith Park was a fully operational nursery from the 1920's through the 1970's, when budget cuts led to the facility's decline. The facility has not been operational since that time and only three partial greenhouses and dilapidated buildings remain.
The Los Angeles Parks Foundation will restore the property and renovate the structures. The new center will include demonstration tree canopies, native plant gardens, recycled water systems, green roofs and an edible childrens' garden. Constructing a nature conservancy within a restored nursery will allow the City of Los Angeles to realize its commitment to green practices and to address some of the most important conservation challenges of the 21st century. Click here to watch a video about the Griffith Park Urban Environmental Center.
Article credit to ABC 7:
The Los Angeles Clippers and owner Steve Ballmer are donating $10 million through the Los Angeles Parks Foundation to help the city of Los Angeles renovate nearly 350 basketball courts. The gift will help renovate 108 indoor courts and 236 outdoor courts across the City. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
"Los Angeles is a city that embraces opportunity - and every kid in this city should have every opportunity to grow up to be the next Lou Williams, or DeAndre Jordan," Ballmer said. "Mayor Garcetti asked if the Clippers would play a role and help give opportunity to kids, and we were happy to step up. We believe every kid should have a shot at the American Dream, and youth sports opportunities can absolutely play a role in that."
Mayor Eric Garcetti said it is important for the city to invest in youth sports activities to help foster good health and leadership skills. "Sports have always been an incredible vehicle for social change, and this gift is an extraordinary investment in our children and communities," Garcetti said. "The Ballmers and the Clippers organization reflect the best of Los Angeles, and I'm grateful to them for their leadership and generous commitment to our city's future."