The next time you take a walk, hike, or picnic in Elysian Park, take a look around at all the different types of trees and flowers (both native and non-native) that decorate the landscape around the park. Next time you go, you might know a few of the names!
Echo Park resident Michael O’Brien, a horticulture expert who frequently updates us on blooming trees and flowers in the neighborhood, recently wrote on the Echo Elysian Neighborhood Council forum about a website he contributes to documenting plantlife in Elysian Park.
“The botanical survey is ongoing,” he writes, “and far from complete, but you can look up the 159 species currently identified on CalPhotos. (Just enter “Elysian” in the search box.) There you will find photos of all the species.”
The purpose of his post on the forum, however, was also a warning about the future of about two dozen native species in Elysian Park. The Los Angeles Planning Committee recently voted in favor of developers to build a 120-unit condo complex on what is known as the “Menlo Property” in Silver Lake on Riverside Drive (near the Fletcher intersection). Many residents (in Silver Lake, Echo Park, and beyond) are concerned that the condo complex will basically block an important thoroughfare for both animals and plants from the Los Angeles river to the Echo Park/Elysian Park area.
“The Menlo project on Riverside Drive has closed off any possibility of gene flow to the Park from the Santa Monica Mountains, so there are approximately 2 dozen native species in the park that will go extinct in our lifetime,” O’Brien explains. Read his full post on the forum here.
If you’re interested in the Menlo Property history, politics, and future, I suggest reading through Diane Edwardson’s blog called Corralitas Red Car Property by clicking here.