This lunch and learn session was an introduction to the Commonwealth Nursery project, an effort to support the renewed use of a historic City tree and plant nursery in Griffith Park. This renovation effort is part of a large partnership that includes City Plants, the Department of Water and Power, LA Recreation and Parks Department (RAP), LA Parks Foundation, Los Angeles Conservation Corps, and more! The site, which at the height of its production in the 1930s provided over a million plants and trees annually for City projects, has been largely unused as a nursery space since the 1970s, and is now the subject of a unique partnership to revive this hidden gem.
Currently the site is not open to the public, but is used by RAP as an important maintenance yard for City crews serving Griffith Park and surrounding areas. But the site has potential for many more uses. Staff from RAP explained how buying trees for the City’s urban forest from private nurseries is unreliable and establishing the site as a tree nursery once again would give the City more control over the urban forest and provide more resilience, as well as providing seed stock for future trees and plants on City land. City parks are host to over 450 species of trees, it’s a diverse urban canopy that requires diverse seed stock. With this site available, the City can take seeds from mature trees throughout the City and propagate them here in our own nursery.
The other component of this project is workforce development and job training. RAP has a 10 week training course for new staff to their Maintenance and Operation division, which are good paying green jobs with growth potential for the future. This project is an opportunity to further improve the site and add additional curriculum around nursery stock and best practices to the existing training program. Along with RAP, LACC has a nursery manager and corps members that are currently maintaining the small nursery space. Funding from the LA2050 grant would help City Plants develop the curriculum and add to the number of corps members trained as well as support the budding tree nursery with core infrastructure.
You can help make this dream of a new fully functioning tree nursery in the heart of Los Angeles possible. City Plants / LA City “team trees” have been selected as finalists in the MyLA2050 Grants Challenge and are in the running to receive up to $100,000 to make LA the "best place to live" in support of our collaborative efforts at the Commonwealth Nursery. Please visit this link to watch a video about the Commonwealth Nursery project and vote TODAY and help the Commonwealth Nursery blossom again. VOTING IS OPEN UNTIL JUNE 28 so please vote now!
Watch the full Lunch and Learn session about the Commonwealth Nursery here.