University of Southern California | Test Plot: Elephant Hill: Creating a viable ecosystem managed by local community stewardship on once-neglected land. | Goal 5: Thriving ecosystems, habitats, and biodiversity.
Elephant Hill in El Sereno in East LA, is known as a special place to enjoy walking through walnut and oak woodlands, with 360-degree views of the San Gabriel Mountains and downtown skyline. But the area has been overrun with invasive species and largely neglected. For decades, the neighboring community, largely low-income, 80% Latinx 11% Asian, has been working to protect the open space from development. Building on an existing network of five Test Plots across Los Angeles, this project establishes a 5,000 square-foot Test Plot on a publicly owned parcel, to be composed of locally sourced native plant species. The class has partnered with residents and community organizations to develop a site preparation strategy, a design concept and a native planting palette. Over 70 residents participated in an initial planting day in early November and a local stewardship group will continue to maintain the plot for the next two years.
Team: Jen Toy, Department of Landscape Architecture + Urbanism;Carlos Anguiano; Gigi Brito; Sophie Beck; Avery Bystrom; Philip Gilbert; Becca Lubin; Ana Matsubara; Morgan Rose; Yinshan (Zoe) Wang; Faye Zhang; Community Leaders: Joey Farewell; David Iniguez; Christian Aeschilman
Community partners: TreePeople; Northeast Trees; California Native Plant Society; Mountain Recreation Conservation Authority; Coyotl+Macehualli; Save Elephant Hill; Heroes of Elephant Hill
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Yours. The built environment. The birds’. Animals wandering onto freeways… The home we all share.