Nature is everywhere in Los Angeles. That is the main message you will get from reading the new book “Wild LA: Explore the Amazing Nature in and Around Los Angeles” released by Timber Press. While we may all be aware that wildlife can be found in the Santa Monica Mountains or the Angeles National Forest, many of us probably do not think of Los Angeles as an area of incredible biological diversity. But the truth is that there is a tremendous diversity of species in L.A. and there are many stories to tell, according to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the authors of the book: Lila Higgins, Dr. Gregory B. Pauly, Dr. Jason G. Goldman, and Charles Hood. [Read more…] about Book Review: Wild LA
Have you heard of “nature-deficit disorder“? Coined by author and journalist Richard Louv, the term refers to possible negative consequences to individual health and the social fabric as children stay more time indoors and away from physical contact with the natural world. [Read more…] about Nature for Neighborhoods
“You can’t see the forest for the trees!” All of us are familiar with this expression which is often used to describe or understand [Read more…] about Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Planning for Parks and Urban Forests in Los Angeles County
Do you enjoy LEGOs and nature? If yes, then I have the perfect exhibit to recommend to you. Over the weekend, I visited the South Coast Botanic Garden with my family to see the Nature Connects exhibit. [Read more…] about Exhibit Review: Nature Connects at the South Coast Botanic Garden
When I tell people that I work for the Department of Parks and Recreation, many ask whether I watch the TV show Parks and Recreation. While I do enjoy the comedy series, I must say that doing “real life” parks and recreation planning is actually far more interesting and rewarding. Personally, I am motivated by the desire to help improve and expand recreational options for communities in need because I have experienced firsthand the many benefits of parks and recreational facilities. [Read more…] about Park Planning for Underserved Communities in Los Angeles County
Have you ever wondered how people make a living by collecting cans and bottles from trash cans? Do you want to learn more about “canning” and how “canners” survive in New York City? Do you enjoy documentaries? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, I highly recommend that you watch HBO’s Redemption (2012) which was directed and produced by Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill. [Read more…] about Documentary Review: Redemption
- Of or relating to the habitat or environment.
- The doctrine, theory, or science of a subject.
- Branch of science concerned with the interrelationships of organisms and their environments, especially as manifested by the natural cycles and rhythms, community development and structure, interaction between different kinds of organisms, geographic distribution, and population alternatives.
- The totality or pattern of relations between organisms and their environments.
~ Webster’s New International Dictionary, 3rd ed., 1976
_____________________________________ [Read more…] about Reyner Banham, Mike Davis, and the Discourse on Los Angeles Ecology
A few weeks ago, I was in Seattle for the American Planning Association (APA)’s National Planning Conference. In addition to learning with and from other planners, I also had the opportunity to present in a session entitled “Collaboration for Healthy Communities in LA County” that focused on the creation and accomplishments of Los Angeles County’s Healthy Design Workgroup (which I shared about previously in Coordination: Can’t Plan Without It). Like the conferences I attended in recent years, this one offered a wide variety of informative and useful sessions and mobile workshops. As a park planner, I naturally gravitated towards those related to parks and recreation. Summarized below are the sessions that I found most interesting and want to highlight in this article: [Read more…] about APA Conference: Lessons from Seattle
Are you concerned about climate change? Do you want visual evidence that it is actually happening? Do you live in a coastal community? Are you passionate about photography? If you answer yes to any (or all) of these questions, I highly recommend that you pay a visit to the Annenberg Space for Photography, one of my favorite places in Los Angeles. [Read more…] about Exhibit Review: Sink or Swim – climate change resilience in photographs at Los Angeles’s Annenberg
Cruising one day along Commonwealth Avenue in Fullerton, CA, I noticed a sequence of fallen birds that were either decayed or decaying on the sidewalk. It seemed to be the result of a complex context; an intersection of natural habitat and built (man-made) artifact (in this case a tunnel with a vehicle underpass and train overpass). So I thought to myself, built environments almost always have to interact with and react to their context. Whether it is regarding the slope of a site, or natural soil conditions, or even existing natural habitats: animals, flora, fauna, etc. [Read more…] about Common Birds of Commonwealth