But instead of The Militant pointing out where his neighborhood is (and thusly blowing part of his cover), here are some places around Los Angeles and the Southland where you can be in the presence of native plants -- and true to Militant fashion, they're all 100% free to visit!
Theodore Payne Foundation Nursery & Gardens, Sun Valley - Theodore Payne (or T-Payne for short...ay) was an Englishman in the late 19th century who was so fascinated with California native plants, he moved here, only to discover that agricultural development in Southern California was depleting the land of its native vegetation. So, as part Luther Burbank, part Johnny Appleseed, he dedicated his life to preserving native plants, even going up into the hills and fields to collect seeds. T-Payne created native plant displays in Exposition Park, Cal Tech and Descanso Gardens and owned nurseries in Downtown and in Atwater (before it became a "Village," yo). T-Payne retired and died in the early 1960s, but The Theodore Payne Foundation was formed to carry on his work. In Sun Valley, the nonprofit operates a nursery where one can buy numerous varieties of potted natives and a living native plant environment growing in the hillside (you can even just drop by and have a picnic -- there's even tables there). They also conduct classes and native garden tours. They should be the first place to check out if you want to learn about native plants!
|Real talk from T-Payne.|
Angels Knoll Park, Downtown - Speaking of DTLA, this mini-park, directly adjacent to Angels Flight Railway, is a virtual mini-version of Vista Hermosa, with fragrant Cleveland Sage bushes growing abundantly, as well as decorative native succulent plants (Of course, the pleasant sage aroma was likely intended to help mask the smell of the local homeless people's urine...)
Griffith Park - Toyon, chamise, sage and other chaparaal plants grow here in the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains. Hop on any of the 4.310-acre park's hiking trails and you'll see them. In some cases, they've been growing there just as they have in the days of the Tongva.
Bernard Field Station, Claremont - This 86-acre wildlife peserve along Foothill Blvd on the campus of The Claremont Colleges exists for both conservation and study, with both wild and human-planted native growth in a coastal sage scrub environment. As a bonus, native birds, reptiles, insects and wild mammals can be seen roaming the grounds.
|'Cause native wetlands have a way with B-A-L-L-O-N-A...|
Others have recently listed traits and criteria on being a true Angeleno -- well, The Militant believes that you can't be a true Angeleno without visiting the Ballona Wetlands and appreciating the (relatively) untouched serenity that have lasted for centuries. Developments can always be built elsewhere, but the wetlands are irreplaceable. May this land be disturbed no more!