Grand Elements Nature Park
Submitted by Aaron Landy, Los Angeles
The Grand Avenue Plan should offer Los Angeles a unique and innovative refuge of nature and art. Eighteen million people reside in this city of few parks, uninspired public spaces and poorly designed beach areas. Every week the average Los Angeleno spends nine hours commuting, and 49 hours watching television. Blessed with the best weather of any American city, The Grand Avenue Plan should embrace the strengths of our weather, environment and multifaceted community.
Phase 1 ? Restorative Nature: Artfully restore native grasses, trees and small wildlife to Grand Avenue?s 16 sunlit acres. Allocate a budget to local biologists and environmental designers to return an indigenous California landscape to the very heart of the city.
Phase 2 ? Human Creativity: Invite citizens to self organize art, sculpture, music, ideas and ritual upon the restored natural landscape. The city could mediate an ad-hoc creativity panel/process, while offering free parking to all who come to grace this place with wisdom, energy, labor and art.
Phase 3 ? Ongoing Guidelines: a) No commercialized anything; b) No cement, macadam or steel ? only stones and natural elements; c) No built paths or walkway ? let footpaths and leylines develop naturally; d) Designated community gardens for those who live or work nearby; e) Wireless learning/data access ? free to all; f) A dawn-to-dusk fire-pit/gathering circle similar to the downtown art installation ?Not A Cornfield? (pictured).
Grand Elements Nature Park can be a quiet, restorative oasis that moves the soul and educates the mind. If we allow our local populace to slowly grow a public commons in a restored eco-scape, our city will birth something more creative, unexpected and welcoming than anything designed by one person or agency. Hundreds of thousands of talented, energetic people are powering an incredible renaissance of art and community here. Grand Elements Nature Park need be nothing more than a gentle nest from which we can all take flight.