Larry Wilson: Motorists May Find Green Inspiration

Pasadena Star News, Posted 09/06/08 11:08:06 PM PDT

It’s part of the common evolution from the guerilla to the grown-up, and that only makes it barely less fun and thought-provoking. So, Pasadena motorists, watch out when cruising South Lake Avenue for a parallel spot on Sept. 19. That prime curbside real estate may be one of several made green instead of concrete for National Park(ing) Day, a celebration of downtown parks and of the need for more of the same.

Three years ago, San Francisco art collective REBAR reimagined the metered space by taking over one and landscaping it – all the while feeding in quarters – to show the verdant potential of even a little 18-by-10-foot area. Some turf set down, a willow in a pot, a bench to sit on – it was amazing.

Now, in concert with the Trust for Public Land, the high-performance art scheme is taking over the nation. Last week, Councilwoman Margaret McAustin got a group together to promote the upcoming temporary landscaping job. Many are pitching in, but this is the brainchild of South Lake Business District dynamo Gina Tleel and the talents of landscape architect Brenda
Wadsworth of EPT Design, the firm working the current massive makeover of the South Lake median strips. Also in support were Rec and Parks Commissioner Mark Persico, city PIO Ann Erdman and field rep Margo Fuller. Brenda, conscious of the need for drought-tolerant xeriscape in SoCal, promises no rolled-out Marathon sod. The non-guerrilla aspect? City transit honcho
Fred Dock signed off, but asked, “Could you just run it by Film & Events?”

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