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While City Looks to Figure Out Landscaping Budget, Neighbors Pull Weeds at LAPD

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, August 05, 2011, at 07:49AM
LAPD Weeds Eric Richardson / blogdowntown

Weeds grow among the plants on the City Hall side of the Police Administration Building, which opened to fanfare in 2009.

On Saturday morning, volunteers from the Downtown L.A. Neighborhood Council will gather across from City Hall at the Police Administration Building to pull weeds and prune the plants that surround the $437-million structure.

Nowhere in that budget, it turns out, were there funds for maintenance of the two-year-old structure's highly-touted grounds.

Saturday morning's cleanup will be the neighborhood council's eighth since December.

Last month, Thom Brennan of LAPD's Facilities Management Division told a city council committee that a similar situation exists in other new police facilities. "All of those facilities that were added, none of them were budgeted for landscape services."

While General Services has maintained the buildings "hardscape" surfaces via sweeping and emptying trash cans, the department does nothing for the plants that surround the structure.

"The Department of General Services has never been budgeted, nor have we had the tools, the vehicles or the proper classifications to maintain landscaping," Assistant General Manager David Pascal told the committee.

A motion by Councilwoman Jan Perry—CF 11-1104—asks the City Administrator's Office to figure out how maintenance will take place going forward.

In the meantime, though, the DLANC volunteers will keep at their work. In February, landscape architecture firm Melendrez put together a guide for neighbors to follow while working with the drought-tolerant plants around the police headquarters.

Those interested in participating in Saturday's cleanup should show to the corner of 2nd and Spring at 9am. The DLANC invitation encourages attendees to bring water, hats, heavy-duty work gloves, small shovels, hand-pruners, and weeding tools. Those interested in more information cancontact cherylmcdonald48@gmail.com or valerie.watson@dlanc.com.

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