Chautauqua Medians Will Be Redone by PRIDE

PRIDE helps maintain medians on Sunset.

A resident wrote Circling the News: “Do you know anything about why and by whom the plants in the planting strip on Chautauqua where it meets Sunset were dug up, twice?

“The space is now empty except for some weeds.  The natal plum bushes and red lantana growing there were tough, pretty, and thriving.  Natal plum has shiny green leaves and fragrant lush white blossoms.   A crew of men in dark green outfits dug them up one day. The plants began sprouting up again and were dug up again. They have not recovered.  It’s been months.”

Circling the News contacted PRIDE President John Padden because that nonprofit has gone through the onerous process of getting approval from the City for other medians (Marquez Triangle, the road median on Alma Real, at Sunset Boulevard and Chautauqua and the median on Sunset between the Palisades High School baseball field and Temescal Gateway Park).

P.R.I.D.E. planted a fallow and weed filled median on Sunset Boulevard and is maintaining it.

Padden responded in an email, “PRIDE is working on this project. We are in mid process of obtaining our full Adopt-A-Median permit from the City of LA.”

About the Chautauqua medians, he said that workers found “The vegetation that was there was not thriving but dead and full of weeds with the medians full of rocks, old cement, broken pipes, glass, cigarette butts and trash. It was lifeless and colorless, an eyesore.”

He said a close inspection had been done and the media was “Far from vibrant and thriving.” Before the rainy season this past year, in anticipation of starting on the median, PRIDE had cleared and mulched it.

“Then the heavy rains came and nothing, but weeds grew back,” Padden said. “We had those weeds also removed as they were becoming a traffic danger due to their height blocking visibility. Once PRIDE receives a full permit, PRIDE (at the sole cost to PRIDE) will enrich the soil, repair the irrigation system, introduce plants per the city specifications that are colorful yet drought tolerant and maintain the medians.”

He also asked CTN to tell whoever inquired about the median that the city has been quite slow with the process, but once the permit is received, we “will beautify these medians in a quality manner as it has with multiple other medians throughout our community.”

Founded in 1992, P.R.I.D.E.’s mission has been to improve and enhance the visual appeal of the Palisades, specifically the business community.

Other PRIDE projects have included replacing the rotting trash bins and ensuring bus benches are in good shape. PRIDE member Bruce Schwartz in an earlier story told CTN, “We got a call from a woman about a bus bench at Las Casas, saying the bench had rusted,” Schwartz said. “When we pulled on it, it collapsed.” He and another PRIDE member Sam Rubin replaced the bench.

“We also got a call from a person at Palisades Drive and Sunset, who asked if PRIDE could replace the bench that was rusted out there,” Rubin said. “We said we’d do it.”

They removed it and then went to City for an official permit to install a new bench at the location.

PRIDE replaced two bus benches in front of the Shell station at Sunset and Via de la Paz. “One was wiped out by a car,” the men told Circling the News. “It’s happened more than once.”

PRIDE has a blanket permit to try to modify the garbage bins in Pacific Palisades. For the most recent replacements of bins and benches, the nonprofit has spent almost $11,000. “It wouldn’t have been possible without donations from the community,” Rubin said.

Rubin initially got involved in PRIDE when the City wanted to install large-scale advertising at the bus stops in Pacific Palisades in 2003-2005.

PRIDE and the Pacific Palisades Community Council fought to keep the attractive cast-iron benches and trash cans already here and to minimize the “big media” advertising bus shelters.

Under an agreement between CBS/Decaux and the City of Los Angeles, the big shelters were kept to three (one in front of Corpus, one at Temescal Canyon and Sunset and one in front of Palisades High School—now removed).

Swathmore beautification, prior to Caruso’s mall, was made possible through money raised by PRIDE by selling donor sidewalk tiles and honorary lamp posts, trees and benches that were placed on that street in 1996. That effort was led through PRIDE members Hal Manninger and Charles McGlothin, who together received Citizen of the Year honors for their efforts.

When developer Rick Caruso purchased property for his Palisades Village mall in 2016, the engraved tiles were destroyed, the lamp posts replaced, and benches and trash cans that were located along Swarthmore and Monument were stored in PRIDE member’s garage.

Since then, Village Green was the recipient of two PRIDE trash containers. “We had some left from the Caruso project,” Schwartz said, “so it was a win-win. We took the other two away and replaced them with these.”

To read about other PRIDE projects, visit To donate, checks may be sent to 15332 Antioch St. #13, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272. Call (310) 913-8762 or email



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2 Responses to Chautauqua Medians Will Be Redone by PRIDE

  1. bev lowe says:

    Hi, the tiles weren’t destroyed but moved to Sunset Blvd. It’s possible that not all of them made it there, but ours did.

  2. Stephen P Dickey says:

    The tiles were removed when Caruso remade Swarthmore. The names were documented and replicated on bricks 🧱 that are now in Sunset.

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