Carren's Pitch

Life by Design

There are a ton of plans for the Los Angeles River and its riverbanks, but does Los Angeles have enough native plants to fulfill this ambitious green dream? Maybe. My conversation with Ellen Mackey was enlightening. It gave me a chance to look at something I'd never before considered: the market dynamics of native plants.

Text by: Carren Jao
Edited by: Yosuke Kitazawa
Published: 29 January 2015, KCET

"You can't talk about the Los Angeles River without talking about its plants," says Ellen Mackey, senior ecologist on assignment to the Council for Watershed Health from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Los Angeles River revitalization has been a buzzword for a couple of years now. Its popularity has only heightened as plans were announced to restore the ecology of an 11-mile stretch on the Los Angeles River last year.

The azure and verdant photographs and renderings might be enthralling to some, but to Mackey and her colleagues it also represents a challenge. "How does one put that many seeds on the ground?" [read more]


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