Weathering a drought: Los Angeles State Historic Park Opens Using Sustainable Techniques
While some people never thought the newly opened Los Angeles State Historic Park would come to fruition, it has. In 2001, the city purchased the land, which at that time was an abandoned rail yard. It sat empty until three years ago when renovation began. Now more than $20 million later, this Los Angeles Park is more than what anyone expected.
Fondly referred to as a “cornfield,” due to the random stalks of corn that sprouted, having fallen from a train car, the entire complex has been reimagined. Although there is still some work to do, the park is now fully accessible while offering magnificent views of downtown LA.
This park stretches across 34 acres and includes an event area, visitor’s center, raised pedestrian bridge, permanent restrooms, and paved parking. There is also plenty of open space, along with new wetlands and a meadow area. Sometime later this month, a restaurant constructed from shipping containers will open, as well, complete with a beer garden set against the Los Angeles skyline.
Although shade is limited while waiting for the planted trees to grow, including citrus, the span of lush green grass is evident throughout the park. Because Los Angeles State Historic Park was developed during California’s drought season, designers, builders, and grass experts agreed to use sustainable materials, including permeable pavement and hearty Bermuda grass. One company stands out for its superior sustainable grass seed and sod, including Bermuda. That is why the grass experts at Stover Seed were integral in the successful opening of The Los Angeles State Historic Park.
Complementing the Bermuda grass are areas of deer grass, sage, sunflowers, Indian bush poppy, and various wildflowers. While the officials considered different grass species, Bermuda was the most obvious choice. Not only does this grass species stand up incredibly well to heavy foot traffic, but as a turf grass, it is also beautiful.
Although rain has finally come to the Los Angeles area, if this part of California experiences a low amount of rainfall or another drought, the Bermuda Grass in the Park will continue to thrive. With roots that grow up to 24 inches, this type of grass does not require the same level of watering as other grasses do.
As part of the downtown Los Angeles revitalization project, experts are also reimagining old warehouses and buildings with anticipation of transforming them into chic lofts and apartments. With that change, there is a good chance that Bermuda grass will once again be the preferred choice for creating more green space.