For the last three years, Friends of Griffith Park volunteers have undertaken a massive effort to place more plantings in the Park using, wherever possible and practical, California natives which were propagated from Griffith Park seeds at the Commonwealth Nursery.
Overall, the planting process is extensive and requires weeding and mulching to stop weeds vying for water and nutrients, and to reduce evaporation once natives go into the ground. Additionally, planting preparation requires numerous volunteers and hours. We are grateful for the hundreds of volunteers who have assisted us over the years in creating these beautiful native garden areas.
Some of the recent areas planted include:
— FoGP conducted two plantings across the street from the Live Steamers, planting mostly sycamore trees from sycamore seeds harvested in Griffith Park.
— FoGP volunteers planted more than 160 California native plants along the Anza Trail Native Garden, located behind hole seven on the Wilson Golf Course in the southeast corner of the Crystal Springs Picnic Area.
— At the East Observatory Trail leaving Fern Dell, more than 150 California natives were planted by FoGP volunteers.
— Across from the Trails Café in Fern Dell, volunteers planted 15-gallon trees and a year later, more than 150 California natives plants.
— And finally, in the past year, more than 200 California native plants were placed in the Bird Sanctuary by FoGP volunteers over several weekends.
Even with RAP pandemic restrictions, these gardens are currently being monitored! Over the past weeks, FoGP board members Kathryn Louyse, Dora Herrera and I have toured planted areas for a check-up. We are thrilled to report that most areas are looking good and most of our natives plants are still healthy.
At this time, FoGP has been asked by RAP to forego volunteer activities in the Park, but this should not prevent you from visiting planted areas. If you have volunteered at any of these events, take a moment next time you’re in the Park and check out your handiwork. You’ll be amazed at how much the plants have grown. As always, if you see trash and are able, we encourage you to help keep all areas of our Park clean. Once we’re given the green light to host volunteer activities, you will be contacted.
FoGP looks forward to a time when we can get back into the dirt planting trees, flowers, bushes and more in Griffith Park. And did we mention — we really miss our wonderful volunteers!
~Ross Arnold, FoGP Volunteer Coordinator
Bird Sanctuary planting, photo credit: Brenda Rees