HPGC members Julie Grist and Judy Kirshner have been volunteering with Grown in LA, (GiLA) a non-profit native plant start-up founded by Kat Superfisky and located in the foothills of Griffith Park in the old Commonwealth Nursery location.
In years to come, particularly with the redevelopment of the LA River and urban green space, millions of native plants will be needed for restoration and urban greening projects in the Los Angeles basin. Finding viable native plants, which require little or no irrigation and flourish in our environment, is tremendously difficult given the lack of garden nurseries that grow native plant material. There are not nearly enough native plants available to re-green the many public and private urban projects that are in the works. Think about it. The LA River restoration project alone will restore 700 acres along 11 miles of river. That's a heck of a lot of plants.
GiLA hopes to help solve this problem by building a local seed bank to properly collect, store and propagate local seeds. Grist has assisted GiLA staff in collecting seeds over the past year, and learning the proper protocols (using required permits, viability tests, and collection techniques) hopes to collect more seeds with GiLA and a local consortium of nurseries, horticultural and government institutions.
GiLA has also started a small but hearty operation to grow those seeds into plants, and intends to start new nurseries in the LA region to make native plant material more available. Grist and Kirshner have been working with GiLA's nursery coordinator, Katherine Pakradouni in propagation of native plants including sages, buckwheats, bladderpods and buckeyes, to name a few.
As the GiLA site is further developed and improved, we hope the HPGC may take an active interest in providing some grant funding, and volunteer hours, to this worthy project.
The city's former Commonwealth Nursery will be getting an upgrade in coming months with site improvements. Seen here are some of the terraces on site.
A fresh batch of seedlings have been re-potted in gallon containers including bladderpod, black sage, monkey flower, and CA sagebrush.
White sage in 4 inch pots will soon need to be repotted into gallon containers.
California bay tree seedlings (Umbellularia californica)
Volunteers planting fruit tree last spring at the Griffith Park site.